Source: Kansas Aiming for September Sports Betting Launch

Source: Kansas Aiming for September Sports Betting Launch article feature image

Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Big Jay.

The first Kansas sports betting apps could go before the start of the 2022 NFL season.

A clause in the bill, passed early Friday morning by state legislators, mandates final regulations by January 2023, but allows the state lottery to issue temporary regulations before hand.

"We'll be up by Week 1," a source familiar with the matter told Action Network. "Temporary regs will be issued long before permanent."

Gov. Laura Kelly still needs to sign the bill into law, though she's expressed support for sports betting in the past. The law would take effect July 1.

If the lottery issues temporary regulations by Week 1 of the NFL season — in early September — it would be one of the fastest launches in U.S. history.

Tight Deadlines

On average, it's taken states that have legalized sports betting more than eight months to take their first bets. Maryland is going on 18 months since they legalized sports betting, and still won't launch by Week 1.

Once lawmakers compete the lengthy process of getting a bill passed and signed, the regulator authority — in Kansas's case the state lottery — must draft and review applications, vet operators and issue several iterations of rules.

The Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission must complete operator background checks by Aug. 15 and the lottery must notify license recipients by Sept. 1, at the latest.

College betting is allowed under the bill.

"After a long pandemic, it's nice to give our constituents an opportunity to have some fun," said Rep. Stephanie Clayton (D), who first indicated that sports betting would pass.

How Kansas Sports Betting Will Look

The bill legalizes online and retail betting for four casinos, which may parter with up to three online operators each. That sets the state up for at least 12 online sportsbooks.

The state's Native American Tribes may update their gaming compacts to participate as well, setting Kansas up for even more sportsbooks.

Those operators may partner with up to 50 retail providers, including profession sports teams, to operate sports betting kiosks at physical locations such as arenas.

Sports Kansas City, the MLS soccer team, is currently the only professional sports team in the state, though that may soon change. The Department of Commerce will use roughly $8 million a year from sports betting tax revenue to try and lure another team to the state.

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