TOPEKA, (KSNT) — Kansas gaming officials have officially announced a start date for sports betting in the state, Sept. 1.
Kansas Capitol Bureau spoke with Stephen Durrell, Executive Director of the Kansas Lottery, on Thursday, who called it a ‘soft launch’ date.
“It’s not quite exactly finished yet, there’s still some ‘t’s to cross’ and some ‘i’s to dot,’ but we’re looking forward to a soft launch on September 1 of this year, and then we’re going to go fully live hopefully on September 8, a week later, just about in time for professional football to start,” he said.
Durrell said they’re not able to announce what apps are authorized yet, because some are still going through their ‘background procedures’ through the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.
“The general broad platforms that you see advertised on TV… a lot of them have had their paper work done and in place, and are able to get ready to go, but some of them have sub-contractors that they have do some of their duties, and they’re still going through the process of being fully backgrounded,” he explained. “Once we do that, we’ll have another announcement about how people will be able to place wagers, where they can find the apps, and then of course, hopefully at that time, there will also be the ability to offer in-house sports wagering through sports books, through one or more… hopefully all… of the existing casino partners that we have.”
Kansas lawmakers passed a plan for sports betting earlier this year, which includes a fund to attract professional sports teams. There was speculation over whether the state could entice pro-teams, like the Kansas City Chiefs, to cross over the state line, with a possible move up in the air.
The four casinos contracted with the state to offer sports wagering through independent platforms are Boot Hill Casino & Resort; Ford County near Dodge City; Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane; Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, KS; and Kansas Crossing Casino & Hotel in Pittsburg.
“This announcement represents a lot of hard work and collaboration between the Kansas Lottery, the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, our casino and tribal partners. The process to bring this to fruition has moved at an unbelievable pace. We are excited to be bringing sports betting to Kansas players and adding more fun and exciting play options to the Sunflower State.”Stephen Durrell, Executive Director of the Kansas Lottery
Sports wagers can be made through the state’s four state-owned casinos and on mobile platforms.
The legislation that legalized sports wagering was passed in May. Senate Bill 84 will allow restaurants and nonprofit fraternal or veteran organizations to offer sports betting.
Tribal casinos must renegotiate their compacts with the state before offering sports betting.
Durrell said ‘hopefully’ they’ll be able to make an official announcement for tribal casinos soon.
“We have been talking with some of them about bringing that into fruition in the future. So, we’re not quite there yet to make an announcement, but we’re working hard,” he said. “Hopefully, fairly soon we’ll be able to make an announcement for that too.”