Regulators have approved a temporary set of fences that will govern Kansas sports ponds when they go live later this year, but an exact start date remains uncertain.
Officials, including Gov. Laura Kelly, have said publicly that they hope to open sports betting in Kansas by the start of the National Football League season in early September, though the state may not meet that goal. .
Todd Allen, director of sports betting for the Kansas State Racing and Gaming Commission, said a launch date has yet to be announced.
“I will say that we are making progress and hope to have sports betting in Kansas soon,” Allen said in an email.
Kelly signed the sports betting bill into law in May, a breakthrough for lawmakers after years of deadlock over how much of a cut the state should get from all revenue, among other disputes.
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Under the law, casinos can partner with online betting platforms as well as up to 50 retailers, such as a restaurant or gas station, to offer in-person betting. Kansas Speedway, Sporting Kansas City and federally recognized tribes may also offer bets.
The state fixes a 10% reduction on all bets, regardless of whether they are made online or in person.
While legalizing sports betting is expected to add only a few million dollars a year to state coffers, it is likely to attract gamblers across the border in the Kansas City area after Missouri failed to pass its version of a sports betting bill in 2022 year
Regulators sign temporary rate rules
Last week, the Kansas Lottery Commission and the Kansas State Racing and Gaming Commission approved interim rules and regulations that will determine what betting will look like in Kansas once it begins.
“We’re not doing anything to stop sports betting in Kansas,” David Moses, chairman of the KRGC, said during Friday’s meeting.
Don Brownlee, KRGC’s executive director, acknowledged that getting everything in place before the NFL kickoff on Sept. 8 remains a goal.
“We know the sports betting regulations aren’t exactly what everyone wants, but it’s clear there’s a lot of interest in Kansas to get sports betting up and running,” he said.
Operators will be granted a one-year provisional license based on their operations in other states, a move aimed at streamlining the early days of betting and recognizing that the sportsbooks coming to Kansas are large national firms.
Some of these deals are already in place, although each casino has chosen to partner with different firms.
The Hollywood Casino in Kansas City, for example, has a deal with Barstool. Meanwhile, Kansas Star Casino in Mulvaney has partnerships with BetMGM and FanDuel.
Under the charter, each of the state’s four casinos can partner with three mobile apps where consumers can place bets, meaning up to 12 companies can operate in the state.
What’s next for sports betting in Kansas?
Brownlee noted that the KRGC and the Lottery still have tasks to complete that are not compliant with the rules and regulations.
Contracts must be signed between the lottery and the four state casinos, and negotiations are ongoing. The KRGC is also required to conduct background checks and obtain information on sports betting platforms seeking to do business in the state.
The lottery also began underwriting ads for sports betting firms, explaining the proliferation of promotions on social media and television.
Like other proposed rules and regulations, the Lottery and KRGC rules will now go to Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office for approval. Once approved there, it will be forwarded to the Secretary of State for review and official publication.
John Milburn, a spokesman for Schmidt, said the regulations are already under review, but the exact timeline for approval is not yet known.
“The legality review of regulations varies greatly from regulation to regulation, depending on the complexity of the regulations and the authority underlying the law, as well as how easily any potential problems can be resolved,” Milburn said in an email. .
The process works a little differently for the state’s four federally recognized tribes. Under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, tribes enter into individual gaming agreements with the state that define the rules and procedures to be followed.
The tribes will work with the Kansas State Gaming Agency, the regulatory body that governs tribal gaming, to amend those agreements.
In June, Kelly said talks with the tribes were “continuing.”
Andrew Ball is a senior state reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. He can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 443-979-6100.