Kansas may not launch sports betting in time for NFL season

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It is unclear if the state of Kansas will be able to launch its sports betting market in time for the kickoff of the NFL season in September.

Speaking to BetKansas, Todd Allen, Director of Wagering for the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission (KRGC), provided an insight into the commission’s latest meeting as they look to roll out sports wagering in the Sunflower State.

Allen noted that a vote on draft regulations surrounding the rollout of wagering didn’t take place, which may result in its launch date being delayed.

The KRGC’s next meeting is currently scheduled for August 12, less than one month before the 2022 NFL season begins on September 8.

The Director added that the KRGC and Kansas Lottery, which will oversee Kansas sportsbook apps, could go ahead with temporary regulations approved by the commission, but various testing and licensing requirements for operators would still need to be completed ahead of any launch.

On Kansas possibly meeting the September 8 date, Allen said: “Stranger things have happened, right? There are just a lot of other processes that have to take place before we can get up and running. I don’t know where the Kansas Lottery is, but they have to finalize contracts with our lottery gaming facility managers.

“So, all those interactive sports wagering platforms, all the equipment kiosks, all that’ll have to go through independent test labs and have letters certifying that the equipment’s ready to go.”

Governor Laura Kelly signed SB84 into law back in May, allowing both retail and online sports betting in Kansas for the first time.

Allen stated that Kansas launching sports betting in time for the NFL season hinges on the collaboration of the commission and the state lottery in several areas such as equipment checks and staffing levels.

However, the two parties are yet to agree upon a target launch date for sports wagering in the Sunflower State.

Allen added: “We’re kind of a two-agency state, with the lottery being more of the owner-operator and us being more the regulator. But we’ll have to work together on where we feel we’re both at, agency-wise and things that need to be accomplished, so we can work towards a date that we feel would be feasible for everybody.”

Although the KRGC and Kansas Lottery would like to go live with sports betting in time for the NFL season, Allen notes that the main goal is to launch a sports wagering offering that serves the state.

“We have done a lot of modifications to our regulations, tried to listen to our operators with their input, because a lot of their input was very, very well thought out. And we feel like we’re starting to get a better product to be able to put in place,” the Director commented.

“And while we want to try to hurry and get up and running, to have wagers at some point during this NFL season, our goal still remains the same that we have to uphold the integrity of not only gaming, but also sports wagering in Kansas.

“And we want to make sure that when that product comes out to the patron, that it’s going to be an honest product and that the state of Kansas can be proud of it.”