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Lottery Director Says Kansas Sports Betting Launch Date Is Unknown

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Aug 10, 2022 · 12:40 PM PDT

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  • Kansas Lottery Executive Director Stephen Durrell did not provide a launch date for Kansas sports betting at latest commission meeting
  • Durrell did say he hopes it launches “sooner rather than later.”
  • Contracts with four state casinos still need to be finalized

A Kansas sports betting launch by the first week of the NFL season is unlikely to happen.

Kansas Lottery Executive Director Stephen Durrell said today that “no specific date” can yet be provided for a Kansas sports betting launch.

Still Much to Be Done for Kansas Sports Betting

The state must still enter into contracts with each of the four Kansas casinos, individual sports betting platforms must still be approved, the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission (KRGC) must still complete background investigations of all sports betting platforms that casinos have requested to use, and other hosts of regulatory hurdles need to be completed before launch, he said.

Finalized contracts with state casinos and their individual platforms will hopefully be completed “soon,” Durrell said.

“We are hopeful this will be soon so we can launch sooner rather than later,” he said at the commission meeting.

The Kansas Lottery Commission next meets on Sept. 7, he said, but a special meeting could be held before then if the commission needs to take action.

Kansas Sports Betting Rules Finalized

The commission did take action on the state’s final sports betting rules and regulations during its meeting this afternoon. The commissioners unanimously approved rules set forth by Assistant Attorney General Craig Paschang.

The KRGC will also have to approve its own set of sports betting rules and regulations.

Paschang said additional rules or regulations could be added to the finalized set, but didn’t anticipate anything major needing to be updated.

One key change to the rules that differentiated from Kansas’s approved sports betting bill was the inclusion of federally recognized Kansas tribes in the “Definitions” portion of the rule set. If the federally recognized tribes had not been included in the “Definitions” section, they would not have been legally able to potentially offer sports betting in the state.

Tribes must agree to amended gaming compacts with Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) and have them approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior before offering sports betting at their tribal casinos.

Kansas Sports Betting Details

The four Kansas casinos will each be able to partner with up to three online sports betting operators.

Casinos will also be able to partner with up to 50 additional locations, including professional sports franchises, to install sports betting kiosks. Currently, the only professional franchise in the state is MLS Sporting Kansas City.

The sports betting bill levies a 10% tax on retail and online sports betting. The law is expected to bring in nearly $10 million annually in taxes, of which 80% will be earmarked to lure professional sports franchises to relocate to the state. This means upwards of $8 million a year could be invested into the specialized “Attracting Professional Sports in Kansas” fund.

The bill states that sports betting will be allowed as soon as it’s deemed feasible, but permanent sports betting rules and regulations must be approved by Jan. 1, 2023. The state is expected to launch sports betting in late 2022 or early 2023.

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