- The Kansas sports betting bill goes into effect on July 1
- The Kansas Lottery and Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission will oversee sports betting
- Launch by football season is a “great goal,” according to a lottery rep
Don’t worry. The Kansas Lottery hears the cries for Kansas sports betting to launch by football season loud and clear.
It hears the cries, but will the state actually launch sports betting by the start of football season? That’s an entirely different story altogether.
The Kansas sports betting bill will officially go into effect on July 1, jumpstarting a process that must see finalized sports betting rules and regulations by Jan. 1, 2023 at the latest. Temporary rules and regulations can be approved, however, by the Kansas Lottery Commission and Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission (KRGC) to allow for an earlier sports betting launch.
The approved Kansas sports betting bill legalizes retail and online sports betting for each of the four state casinos and allows each casino to partner with up to three online sports betting operators. In addition to state casinos, Kansas Native American Tribes will have the opportunity to amend their gaming compacts to allow for retail or online sports betting at their facilities.
The first $750,000 brought in through Kansas sports betting tax revenue will be invested into the state’s White Collar Crime Fund. 80% of remaining revenue will be used to lure professional sports franchises to relocate to the state, such as the Kansas City Chiefs, who currently play in Missouri.
Kansas Sports Betting by Football Season a ‘Great Goal’
Sports betting enthusiasts and state politicians who approved the bill all have their eye on the Kansas Lottery Commission and KRGC as the organizations look to begin the sports betting launch process.
“My hope has always been that Kansas has sports wagering ready to go for the start of football season,” Rep. Stephanie Clayton (D-19), a sponsor of the approved bill, told Sports Betting Dime. “The logistics of this are, of course, up to the gaming stakeholders. I wish them the best in their pursuit.”
Cory Thone, public information officer for the Kansas Lottery, told Sports Betting Dime that both organizations are well aware of the NFL start date goal that has been mentioned by Kansas politicians and casino managers.
While it’s a “great goal” to strive for, Thone said the main goal for all agencies involved in launching sports betting is the assurance that the service will be secure, functional, and ready to operate with minimal chances for it to fail.
“I know there have been people who have used the phrase ‘by football season’ a lot. It’s a great goal, it’s something we’ll try to hit,” Thone said. “But it’s better to start a month into the football season, for example, and have a great product ready to go rather than rushing out an inferior product by the start of the season.”
The timeline may allow Kansas to start by the season, or early thereafter, if everything goes right.
What is the Kansas sports betting timeline?
There are several dates and goals outlined in the bill for the Lottery Commission and KRGC to hit before sports betting can be launched. The main dates and goals are as follows:
- Within 30 days of July 1: The Kansas Lottery Commission “shall adopt and publish in the Kansas register the procedure for receiving, considering and approving, proposed lottery
gaming facility management contracts.”
- On or before Aug. 1: The KRGC must approve and publish its background check process for sports betting operators.
- On or before Aug. 15: The KRGC must begin background checks of operators.
- On or before Sept. 1: The Kansas Lottery Commission must create and publish an application process for sports betting operators.
- On or before Jan. 1, 2023: Final sports betting rules and regulations adopted.
The Kansas Lottery Commission will have 30 days to either approve or deny a sports betting operator after receiving a license application.
Thone stressed that these are the drop deadlines for the goals and both the KRGC and Lottery Commission believe they will be accomplished before those dates.
Launch by Football Feasible?
On average it takes between 6 to 12 months for a state to launch sports betting after the law goes into effect. States with a casino and gambling foothold already in place can move their processes along quicker.
Arizona sports betting, for instance, took five months to launch after its bill was signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey in early April. Arizona launched sports betting on Sept. 9, 2021, the same day the NFL opened its season.
With less than two-and-a-half months between Kansas sports betting becoming legal and NFL season kickoff, it may be too much of a crunch for the two organizations to approve temporary rules and regulations, run background checks, approve and award licenses, and test technology to launch sports betting. Several states have launched sports betting in less that four months after legalization, but less than three months might be too difficult.
A late fall launch seems like it will be more appropriate for Kansas sports betting.