Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed sports betting into law in May, and the new legislation comes into effect on July 1. The Governor spoke this week about the new industry, hopeful that regulators will have Kansas sports betting operational by the upcoming football season.
Sports fans in the state can wager on their favorite teams via four casinos. Casinos can create their own sportsbook or team up with as many as three online betting partners to launch mobile services. Operators can offer retail services or online options.
Moving Forward with Kansas Sports Betting
Bettors, as well as operators, are ready to get started in the state. Major providers like BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel have announced plans to enter the market. FanDuel is partnered with Boyd Gaming’s Kansas Star, while DraftKings has teamed up with Boot Hill Casino. BetMGM is also working with Boyd Gaming and the Kansas Star.
Additional sports betting services can launch in the state once local tribes negotiate new compacts or update existing ones with the government. The Governor says this process has already begun.
For now, regulators must work on setting up the guidelines for the new industry and launching operations by a set date of January 1, 2023. Of course, the Governor is hopeful that services will be in place by the upcoming college and professional football season in the fall.
The Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission has plans to present drafted rules during its meeting in July. These rules will discuss how contracts for sports betting will be received, considered, and approved. The Commission can then choose to approve the regulations or not.
Attracting Professional Sports Teams to Kansas
Based on the new sports betting law, 80% of betting revenues will go to a fund titled Attracting Professional Sports in Kansas. The goal of the new fund is to bring professional sports teams to the state. Currently, there are no professional teams in the state that would draw in big bets due to a particular fan base.
There has been speculation that the state set up the fund to try bringing the Kansas City Chiefs NFL team to the state. Of course, the Chiefs call Missouri home and have done so for decades. The team was created in 1960 and has a solid fan base, including myself.
Governor Kelly has shot down the idea this week, stating that there is no plan to try and bring the Chiefs to the state. Kelly said she has never approached the team or anyone else in her administration. The Governor says that the amount of money the bill could generate and put into the fund would not be close to what is needed to bring a professional sports team to the state.
Of course, the Chiefs would most likely stay where they are even if a deal was presented. In April, Missouri Governor Mike Parson stated that he does not plan to let the team relocate without a fight. The Governor also said in a separate interview that he would compete with any state that tries to move the team.
Pushing for Fall Launch
For now, we will have to wait and see how the Kansas sports betting industry develops. Will regulators be able to have rules and regulations in place plus licensing by the fall? The Governor seems optimistic, but steps still need to be taken to get to that point.
It will be interesting to see how the July meeting plays out with the Commission. If the draft rules are adopted, it puts the state closer to launching sooner rather than later, which everyone wants to see for Kansas.