The state of Kansas is making final preparations to start taking sports bets. According to reports, it will be ready to do so before the beginning of this year’s National Football League (NFL) season.
On August 19th, Governor Laura Kelly officially announced that sports betting in person and via mobile devices will become available to local customers on September 1st at four state-owned casino venues. As the Governor’s office revealed in a special news release, the Kansas Lottery will be responsible for the oversight and control of the new form of gambling, which will become fully operational on September 8th.
The four casinos where local customers will be able to place their wagers on sporting events are Kansas City’s Hollywood Casino, Pittsburg-based Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel, Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, and Ford County-based Boot Hill Casino and Resort. As announced by the Governor, the tribal casinos are also making an effort to agree on contracts for sports betting with the state of Kansas. They are expected to be authorized to offer the new form of gambling as soon as they are ready.
The announcement comes only a few days after rumors and speculations regarding the exact date as of which sports betting will start in Kansas, and whether the new form of gambling will be available before September 8th, when the regular NFL season starts.
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As explained by Governor Laura Kelly, the legalization of sports betting was a common-sense solution that would help the state keep local residents’ money within its borders and would increase the popularity of sporting events, casinos, restaurants and other entertainment venues.
Local lawmakers and regulators have been doing the impossible to prepare the rules in time for the beginning of the new football season, after a bill seeking to legalize the new form of gambling was officially approved by the state Legislature earlier in 2022. Governor Kelly signed the approved sports betting bill into law in May, and the regulations of the new form of gambling were officially approved last week by the Kansas Gaming and Racing Commission. The Kansas Lottery, which is set to monitor sports betting in the state, also submitted regulations earlier this month.
According to proponents of the new form of gambling, the coming launch of sports betting would bring great benefits to the state economically, especially considering the fact that it would help the authorities put an end to illegal sports betting that has been widely available online for years to anyone with a bit of knowledge about technology and online services. The availability of a legal option is now expected to help Kansas to capture the revenue from sports betting that has already been taking place, with a 10% tax applicable to sports wagers.
However, a political opponent of Governor Kelly, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, said that his office had identified some problems with the proposed regulatory responsibilities of the Kansas Lottery. The initial review of the Attorney General’s Office has identified significant legal issues with the proposed regulations of the agency but did not name the exact problems found. Now, the Attorney General and his Office are expected to provide formal feedback that would help the Kansas Lottery with the legal deficiencies in the regulations’ initial version.
According to data provided by the American Gaming Association (AGA), sports betting has so far been made legal in 36 states across the country, after in 2018 the US Supreme Court paved the way to widespread betting on sports by overturning a federal ban that had limited the practice to the state of Nevada.