The Kansas City Chiefs open the NFL season on Sept. 11—and those in the state of Kansas will be able to bet legally on the game.
|🏃♂️||Kansas sports betting to “soft launch” on Sept. 1, with an official launch on Sept. 8|
|❓||We are still waiting on confirmation of which betting apps will be available to download on launch day|
|🇺🇸||Bettors must be physically present in the state of Kansas and over 21|
The office of Gov. Laura Kelly announced Thursday that legal sports betting will go live in the state on Sept. 1, in time for the entirety of the NFL regular season and all but a handful of major college games. The launch will complete a dizzyingly fast implementation of a sports betting infrastructure by the Kansas Lottery and Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, given that sports betting was only legalized in Kansas on May 12.
Kansas will open with a soft launch on Sept. 1, Allen’s office said, with a full launch coming on Sept. 8—when the Los Angeles Rams host the Buffalo Bills to kick off the 2022 NFL season. The four state-owned retail casinos in Kansas will be able to process in-person and mobile bets on Sept. 1. The mobile operators that have been granted one-year provisional contracts by the state will be announced soon, Allen added.
“Legalizing sports betting is a common-sense solution that keeps Kansans’ money in Kansas and drives business to sporting events, casinos, restaurants, and other entertainment venues,” Kelly said. “I want to thank all our partners for working with us to get this done in time for football season.”
‘An unbelievable pace’
The rollout of legal sports betting in Kansas has been remarkable in its efficiency, given that less than four months will have passed between Gov. Laura Kelly signing the bill and the state’s launch date. Arizona had been viewed as the quickest recent rollout after Gov. Doug Ducey signed a sports betting law in April of 2021, with the first sportsbooks accepting bets that following September.
But more often than not, the process has been a tediously slow one. In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine signed sports betting into law in December of 2021—and the Buckeye State won’t launch until Jan. 1, 2023, more than a year later. In Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan signed sports betting into law in May of 2021, and the Old Line State still has not launched mobile wagering.
Kansas, though, will meet the goal of every state that is implementing legal sports betting–to have it in place before the start of the following NFL season. The Sunflower State’s soft launch also occurs just in time for the college football openers of Kansas and Kansas State—the Jayhawks kick off Sept. 2 against Tennessee Tech, and the Wildcats on Sept. 3 against South Dakota. Tribal casinos in Kansas are also working with the state to launch sports wagering.
“This announcement represents a lot of hard work and collaboration between the Kansas Lottery, the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, our casino and tribal partners,” said Stephen Durrell, executive director of the Kansas Lottery. “The process to bring this to fruition has moved at an unbelievable pace. We are excited to be bringing sports betting to Kansas players and adding more fun and exciting play options to the Sunflower State.”
Promos already rolling in
The Kansas law allows up to 12 mobile sports betting platforms to operate in the state, with the four retail casinos able to partner with three each. Boot Hill Casino in Dodge City has aligned with DraftKings and Bally Bet Kansas, Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane with FanDuel and BetMGM, Hollywood Casino in Kansas City with Barstool and FOX Bet, and Kansas Crossing Casino in Pittsburg with Caesars and PointsBet.
While the mobile apps have not yet been specified, all of the retail facilities will be able to accept retail wagers on Sept. 1. Hollywood Casino in Kansas City, which overlooks the second turn at Kansas Speedway, plans to have a temporary sports betting area open for the track’s upcoming NASCAR weekend on Sept. 9-11. There was no word Thursday whether all or some of the mobile partners will launch by Sept. 8.
To wager via mobile device in Kansas, bettors must be at least 21 years old and physically within the boundaries of the Sunflower State. By law, mobile operators must use software to determine a bettor’s physical location.
And some mobile sportsbooks are already rolling out the promotional offers for launch day in Kansas. BetMGM is offering new users in Kansas $200 in free bets with no required deposit. DraftKings is giving away $100 in free bets and entry into a $100,000 Free Bet Sweepstakes. And FanDuel is offering $100 in free bets upon registration. Other mobile betting apps entering the Kansas market will surely offer promos of their own.