Kansas sports betting market soft launches today; FanDuel confirms retail sportsbook opening date


The wait is over: Kansas is finally launching its sports betting market today, Thursday, Sept. 1. Operators are finalizing details in order to start accepting wagers. Six of them have been greenlighted by the Kansas Lottery to go live on market launch, during what has been called a “soft launch.” The full opening of the market will be taking place on Sept. 8, and more parties are expected to join.

Among operators going live Thursday is FanDuel, which has access through an agreement with Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane. The online FanDuel Sportsbook will launch at 12 p.m. CT, with the product available both on iOS and Android. At the same time, FanDuel and Boyd Gaming –which manages the casino– plan to open a temporary retail sportsbook also at 12 p.m. CT on Sept 1., followed by a grand opening on Thursday, Sept.8, at 10 a.m. CT.

To mark the occasion, Kansas native and former NFL wide receiver Jordy Nelson will place the ceremonial first bet on Sept. 8 at the new sportsbook. The amenity will open just in time for the 2022 NFL season, and will stretch over 2,100 square feet. It is set to serve as a “one-stop-shop” to place wagers on the action, and will be open year-round. The sportsbook features four betting windows, 28 HD TVs, seating for 40 customers, and 20 IGT PlaySports kiosks.

Also offering in-person and mobile sports betting will be Hollywood Casino in Kansas City, through Barstool Sportsbook. The casino received approval from the state to offer gaming from a temporary space overlooking the Kansas Speedway, and through a mobile app on the soft launch date. Barstool Sportsbook will have a formal ceremony and Gov. Laura Kelly will officially cut the ribbon to open the sportsbook and place the first bet.

The brand will operate a temporary betting facility near Hollywood Casino’s Turn 2 Sports Bar and Restaurant, while construction begins on a permanent Barstool facility with a full restaurant, field house games, and accessibility to a patio overlooking Kansas Speedway. Hollywood Casino’s temporary sportsbook will not only meet the NFL season launch deadline but will also have sports betting in place when three days of racing at the Speedway start on Sept. 9.

For its part, Boot Hill Casino in Dodge City will be offering mobile sports betting through DraftKings. The sports betting giant has been greenlighted to go live on launch date. Upon its debut in Kansas, this would become the 18th US state in which the company offers its online product. A retail sportsbook will follow: a temporary amenity adjacent to the casino in the old high-limit area will be opened ahead of the permanent location, set to open in early 2023.

Reports indicate that Boot Hill Casino’s temporary sportsbook will be open for wagering action starting in October. But the casino has sports betting plans with other parties as well: both Bally Bet and Golden Nugget Online Gaming have also partnered with Boot Hill, although of the three, only DraftKings is set to go live on Thursday. A date has yet to be confirmed for the other platforms.

Finally, Kansas Crossing Casino in Pittsburg will see three mobile sports betting platforms go live on launch date, at noon: BetMGM, Caesars, and PointsBet. Of those three, Caesars Sportsbook is also set to launch in-person sports wagering – but a date on when the amenity will open has yet to be announced. In the interim, customers will have to make do with mobile betting through the online application.

The launch on Thursday makes Kansas the second-fastest state behind Iowa to go from legal to live since PASPA was overturned in 2018. It will also become the third state this year to go live with online sports betting after New York and Louisiana. A total of 12 sportsbooks will be allowed to operate in the state, with only half of them to go live on launch. Bally Bet, Golden Nugget and FOX Bet –which has access through Hollywood Casino– have yet to be approved, and three remaining licenses are still to be taken.

Other parties aside from sportsbooks have also begun showing interest in the Kansas market. Earlier this week, iGaming player acquisition services provider Gambling.com announced it is ready to provide marketing services to licensed online sports betting operators in the state as soon as the legal betting market soft launches. In anticipation of the Kansas launch, the group went live with its BetKansas.com site in April 2022.

And today, payments fintech PayNearMe announced it has been approved by the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission to provide its MoneyLine platform to licensed operators across the state. Five of the company’s sports betting operators are going live with the platform on market launch. PayNearMe has now expanded its online gaming footprint to 20 states.

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