Kansas Sports Betting Should Launch By Football Season

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Kansas sports betting

Kansas sports betting should launch in time to capture at least some of the upcoming football season.

As Kansans wait for Gov. Laura Kelly to sign KS sports betting legislation into law, regulators are starting to think about the process to go live. Kelly was presented the bill May 6 and has 10 days to make her decision.

“If everything goes well, we could see some bets by the upcoming football season,” said Todd Allen, Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission government relations manager this week.

Kansas sports betting regulators ready to work

Allen said they expect the governor to sign the bill. Once enrolled, the KRGC will meet with the Kansas Lottery and the governor’s office to sort out responsibilities. The lottery owns the four Kansas casinos that will hold sports betting licenses.

The KRGC and Lottery already work together, which should help expedite the licensing process, Allen said. The application and background check period could be ready by August or September, which Allen said would likely lead to sportsbooks launching for at least some NFL betting this year.

KS Lottery Executive Director Stephen Durrell told KSHB they will work to launch as fast as possible. Last year, both Arizona and Wyoming legalized sports betting in the spring and launched in time for the start of the NFL season.

Kansas working with other states

Kansas would be the 35th state to legalize sports betting. At least one benefit to joining the fray late is learning from other markets, Allen said.

“We work closely with a lot of states, so some communications moving forward with them to see what they’ve done and what’s worked well and what hasn’t,” he said. “Maybe we can get through some of those infancy stages a little more smoothly than some other states.”

Path to Kansas legalization

The path to legalization was bumpy for SB 84. Sports betting momentum carried over into 2022 after nearly crossing the finish line in 2021.

But disagreements did not fade away, and it took two conference committees to iron out the differences this session. Eventually, the KS House passed the bill 73-49 and the Senate approved the legislation 21-13.

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