Kansas Lottery Director Stephen Durrell still isn’t ready to announce when legal sports betting will begin in the state.
“As for a specific launch date, people keep asking, but we don’t have one yet,” Durrell said Wednesday as part of his report to the Kansas Lottery Commission. “Hopefully we’re clicking right along, but in terms of giving a specific date, that’s just not something we can do.”
Prior to the comments, the lottery commission approved a slightly amended list of 15 sports betting rules, meaning the agency took at least a small step toward go-live. The proposed rules will now be sent to the attorney general’s office for approval.
Kansas’ new law mandates a launch by Jan 1. 2023, for sports betting, but both the lottery and its co-regulator, the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, have been clear that they hope to be ready for live wagering ahead of that date. Both entities appear to be moving swiftly, though many steps still remain before a launch date could be solidified.
Contracting process nearly complete
The lottery, while not yet making the proposed rules available for public review, did run through a list of highlights. Those included adding some new definitions, making it a requirement that each sportsbook have House Rules, allowing for free play and player programs, and setting the minimum requirements for players to set up accounts.
My timeline is now filled with sports betting ads for Kansas, I can feel it it's close.
— Shaun Newkirk (@Shauncore) August 5, 2022
Durrell shared that the lottery and its four casino partners are close to agreeing on the language that will be included in contracts that will allow for wagering. Under Kansas law, the state technically owns all gaming and casino operators are “managers.” Because of the setup, each of the state’s four casinos must contract with the lottery to operate sports betting. In addition, each casino’s sports betting partner must also contract with the state. Durrell said that many, but not all, have already done so.
As it does with casinos, the lottery will handle day-to-day regulation, while the KRGC will focus on background checks, applications, and bigger-picture regulatory duties. The KRGC is reworking its proposed rules after getting comments from stakeholders. The initial goal was to put the proposed rules before the commission at the July KRGC meeting, but given the level of feedback from stakeholders, the decision was made to delay the vote. The KRGC is set to meet Friday, and approval of the rules is on the agenda.
Here’s who will be in Kansas
DraftKings and FanDuel have already begun offering pre-launch bonuses to those in Kansas. FanDuel is offering $100 in free bets.
Our very own Larry Straub, associate professor of the #SchoolOfBusiness, weighed in on sports betting in Kansas in a recent @KAKE News feature. 💰#SportsBetting #Kansas #SunflowerStatehttps://t.co/PWd4xvVNJ1 pic.twitter.com/OQcKp8DWcw
— Newman University (@NewmanU) August 10, 2022
The wagering law requires that digital platforms be tethered to existing casinos, and each casino is entitled to up to three platforms or skins. All four casinos already have deals in place for at least two platforms:
Boot Hill Casino: Bally Bet and DraftKings
Hollywood Casino at Kansas Raceway: Barstool Sportsbook and FOX Bet Sportsbook
Kansas Crossing Casino: Caesars Sportsbook and PointsBet
Kansas Star Casino: BetMGM and FanDuel
The next lottery commission meeting is set for Sept. 7, a day ahead of the kickoff of the NFL regular season.