The prospect of a Kansas legal sports betting launch in September is growing dimmer as licensing officials struggle to meet crucial deadlines. Between the needs of online and retail operators, the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission still has a lot to get done.
What Remains Ahead Of A Launch
Now that the state’s application window has closed, the Commission has a set list of licensees. But that is only the first stage of the process.
In the coming weeks, the group will need to put together a plan for conducting background checks as well as the foundational draft regulations necessary for industry supervision.
After the Commission completes the prior tasks, the Kansas Lottery will step in to develop a sportsbook approval process.
Gov. Laura Kelly had previously anticipated a retail and mobile sports betting launch ahead of the NFL season’s start on September 8th. Unfortunately, the timeline set by the Commission is not compatible with the Governor’s ambitions.
Kansas’ Legal Betting Schedule
The schedule for licensing is as follows:
- August 1st: The last day for the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission to submit an outline of requirements for applicant background checks.
- August 12th: The first day that the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission can begin voting on draft regulations for administrative oversight and industry audits.
- September 1st: The last day for the Kansas Lottery to submit guidelines for a sportsbook platform approval process.
Some casinos are trying to get around the delays by pushing for a “soft launch” in which some operators could host small-scale wagering while the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission finishes its last inspections.
The Hollywood Casino at the Kansas Speedway, for example, has announced that it aims to have temporary betting kiosks ready and available to the public by September 11th.
Even still, the casino will need full approvals before launching sportsbook operations of any form. Given that the Lottery and Commission have just under two weeks to do so, the goal post seems hard to reach.
Operators Take Proactive Approach
Other prospective operators are trying to get a step ahead of the curb by working out national partnerships even before getting state approval.
For gaming officials, this display of zeal and preparedness comes as a pleasant surprise. In response to this action, Kansas Lottery Public Information Officer Cory Thone says,
“We trust them to make their decisions for their business, and I know that we have to approve it, but we trust them and trust what they’re doing, and that’s the reason that they’re there. Seeing that they’re making those strides is fine because it makes it known they’re ready. Everyone is getting ready.”
Without a clear launch date in view, many have been left with a feeling of unrest. The legislation is here but the sportsbooks have yet to arrive.
Nonetheless, it is important to remember that Kansas is already on track to become a fully- fledged legal sports betting state—comparable to the likes of Colorado and potentially even Pennsylvania.
Until the state goes forward with its launch, local bettors can still place their wagers at offshore sportsbook sites. Head to our ribbon for more information.
Source: KWCH 12