On Monday, Kansas‘ Boot Hill Casino became the first in the state to announce sports betting partnerships.
According to the press release from Butler National Corp., owner of the Boot Hill Casino, Bally’s and DraftKings will both partner with the casino to offer digital wagering in Kansas, where sports betting was legalized less than a week ago. To that end, the company plans to open retail sportsbooks “as early as this fall” and was seeking digital partners that would offer a “safe, seamless, and premium sports betting experience.”
“We wanted to go with what we thought and believe are the top, best, world-class sports betting experiences,” Butler National Corp. Vice President and General Counsel Chris Reedy told Sports Handle. “They’re super well equipped, highly experienced, and when you hear their names, you think high energy. We’re a small public company, but we’re aggressive.”
Reedy said his company picked DraftKings in part because it also has a top-tier daily fantasy business, and Bally’s because of its string of regional sports networks.
Under Kansas law, digital platforms must be tethered to one of the four existing casinos, MLS Sporting KC, or Kansas Speedway. Barstool Sportsbook already has market access via Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino property at Kansas Raceway, and FanDuel has market access through an existing deal with Boyd Gaming. It is likely that most major sports betting players will eventually offer platforms in the state.
When Gov. Laura Kelly made sports betting legal on May 12, Kansas became the second state this year behind Maine to legalize. It will likely launch well ahead of Maine, as Kansas’ law says rules and regulations must be complete by Jan. 1, 2023, and regulators say they will be moving swiftly to get wagering up and running before then.
“We are hopeful to bring mobile sports betting to Kansans by football season,” Butler National Corp. CEO Clark Stewart said via press release.
Bally’s, DraftKings expand Midwest footprint
Boot Hill Casino in Dodge City is one of four commercial casinos in the state, along with the Hollywood Casino (PNG), Kansas Crossing Casino (JNB Gaming), and Kansas Star Casino (Boyd Gaming). There are also a handful of tribal casinos in Kansas, each of which will be allowed to offer in-person wagering under the new law should they choose to re-compact.
The digital ventures will be the first for Butler National Corp., which is headquartered in Kansas, and Reedy said that DraftKings will operate the casino’s brick-and-mortar sportsbook. Butler is aiming to open a temporary retail wagering location in a former high-limit room near the cashier’s cage as soon as the state will allow it. A fully built-out, permanent book is planned for the future.
DraftKings is currently offering legal wagering in 17 U.S. states. It launched in New York, the newest market in the U.S., in January. In the Midwest, DraftKings is live in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Michigan. DraftKings initially announced the deal with Boot Hill last November.
Bally Bet, the digital platform for Bally’s Corp., is live in five U.S. states, including regional neighbors Indiana and Iowa. The company has a foothold in Kansas and Missouri with its Bally Sports Kansas City television station, which is partnered with the Kansas City Royals and which also carries St. Louis Blues and Oklahoma City Thunder games.