DraftKings, Bally Bet Line Up Kansas Sports Betting Entry

Written By Pat Evans on May 17, 2022
Kansas sports betting

Kansas casinos are ready for another stream of revenue from sports betting.

On Monday, Dodge City’s Boot Hill Casino & Resort announced its KS sports betting partnerships with DraftKings and Bally Bet. Each of the four Kansas casinos can partner with up to three online sports betting platforms for the market, which likely will launch this fall.

“It’s an exciting time for Kansans,” said Chris Reedy, vice president of Butler National Corp., the company that manages Boot Hill. “The regulatory agencies will make it a priority to get sports betting operational.”

Kansas sports betting partnerships emerge

Boot Hill’s partnerships are the first official announcements since Gov. Laura Kelly signed Kansas sports betting into law this month. Both DraftKings and Bally’s Corp. announced the individual deals in 2021.

Reedy told LSR Boot Hill aggressively pursued both DraftKings and Bally’s for the partnerships. Boot Hill also will open a DraftKings retail sportsbook.

In DraftKings, Boot Hill secured one of the biggest names in US sports betting. Reedy said Bally Bet was also an important partnership because of the presence of the Bally Sports regional sports network in Kansas.

Kansas retail partnerships

Another piece of the Kansas sports betting landscape will be the 50 retail partnerships casinos can enter to offer sports betting kiosks at those establishments.

Reedy said he is excited about the opportunity, but that it will be a second phase.

Interesting path to Kansas sports betting

Butler National is a publicly traded company that largely focuses on the aerospace industry. The company began working with Oklahoma gaming tribes in the 1990s looking for additional revenue, Reedy said.

Following the Kansas Expanded Lottery Act, Butler National entered a management contract with the Kansas Lottery for one of the state’s four casinos. The $90 million Boot Hill Casino opened in December 2009.

“For us, it’s an additional revenue source that’s stable,” Reedy said.

Kansas regulators working for quick launch

Because the four casinos are owned by the Kansas Lottery and regulated by Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, representatives from both organizations told LSR that the regulatory process likely will move smoothly and quickly.

KRGC Government Relations Manager Todd Allen told LSR that “some bets by the upcoming football season” are likely. Lottery executives are less direct, but still confident it will be a quick process.

“We’ll definitely figure out the quickest and most efficient way to get it up and running,” Kansas Lottery Executive Director Stephen Durrell told LSR last week.

What the partners say

Adi Dhandhania, Bally’s Interactive chief operating officer for North America:

“We are pleased that Kansas has now legalized sports betting, joining an increasing number of states across the nation. We look forward to working with our partners at Boot Hill Casino & Resort to bring the Bally’s online gaming experience to Kansans.”

Griffin Finan, DraftKings VP of government affairs and associate general counsel:

“With the passage of mobile sports betting legislation in Kansas, DraftKings is excited for the opportunity to enter the state pending licensure and regulatory approvals. Together with Boot Hill Casino & Resort, we look forward to engaging with Kansans and providing them with a world-class sports betting experience.”

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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