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Kansas sports betting inches closer to launch after regulator greenlights rules for upcoming market
Kansas took another step to bring legalized sports betting to the Sunflower State after the Racing and Gaming Commission approved regulations for the upcoming market. Regulators unanimously greenlighted the rules during their meeting in Topeka on Friday, which now await final approval from the Kansas Attorney General’s Office.
According to the commission’s agenda, regulators were tasked with clarifying specific language related to sports betting. The provisions detail a ticket writer’s duties when they begin a shift, outline reserve requirements, as well as issuance and sports wagering ticket control requirements, among other issues, reports KSHB.
Commissioners said they hope to get betting started before the upcoming NFL season kickoff, scheduled for September 8. However, there is no clear timeline yet for when Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt may approve the regulations, which would only be temporary.
"We don’t have control over the start date, there are a lot of different moving parts and different agencies involved and different players," David Moses, chairman of the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, said. "We’ve done what we need to do to get this moving to try to meet the start date of the NFL football regular season."
Casino managers will also need to work with the Kansas Lottery to agree on contracts, but a date for that process isn’t also immediately available. However, according to Moses, that’s now the most important step for betting to begin, further reports the cited source.
"Getting people to agree to a contract for something brand new in Kansas does take some time," the chairman of the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission admitted. "I’m sure they’re working diligently to get that done."
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly first signed a bill legalizing sports betting in May, after lawmakers gave final approval to the legislation in late April. While the ideal target date for the market opening had long been the NFL season start, this scenario remained uncertain until now. However, the new developments suggest the Jayhawker State may reach its goal.
The law calls for a 10% tax on each bet, with estimates of about $41 million in revenue for the state over the next five years. A total of 80% is earmarked for a Kansas Department of Commerce fund to provide incentives for pro sports teams to come to the state. While Gov. Kelly has dismissed the idea that the money in the fund could suffice to lure a pro franchise, a provision allowing teams to host in-stadium betting could potentially sweeten the deal.
Stakeholders are moving fast in anticipation of the launch. Last week, sports betting giant DraftKings opened pre-registration in the state, announcing a range of welcome promotions and bonuses. And for its part, Barstool Sportsbook, whose majority ownership belongs to the recently rebranded PENN Entertainment, announced plans to open the first physical sports betting facility at a NASCAR track, to be located at Kansas Speedway.
Barstool aims to open the retail sportsbook as a temporary facility in early September, in time for NFL. The transitory venue will be under the Hollywood Casino’s Turn 2 Sports Bar and Restaurant and will feature kiosks, betting windows, odd boards, TVs, and a temporary bar.