Since the ruling in Murphy v. NCAA that deemed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act unconstitutional under the anti-commandeering clause of the Tenth Amendment, over 30 states have legalized sports betting. On August 18th, 2022, Stephen Durrell, the Executive Director of the Kansas Lottery, announced that the state would soon be launching sports betting within the state.
In the announcement, Durrell said Kansas will have a soft launch starting at noon on September 1st. Then just a week later, on September 8th, Kansas will roll out a full launch. This timeline is essential to fans of the NFL as the first game of the regular season will kick off on Thursday, September 8th. This means that Kansas residents can easily place their online bets before the first game for the Kansas City Chiefs, which is set for the following Sunday, September 11th.
This timing is likely no accident as US sports bettors love to bet on the NFL above all other sports leagues. In 2021, statistics showed that three of the five most bet teams by handle (total amount of money placed on bets) were NFL teams, including the Chiefs, Buccaneers, and the Packers. Following this same trend, four of the five most bet teams by ticket count were NFL teams, including the Chiefs, Buccaneers, Bills, and the Packers.
So what can Kansas residents expect from their sports betting experience? Kansas passed Senate Bill 84, which provides 3 betting skins to each of the four casinos totaling 12 skins. The bill also allows those casinos to obtain one additional skin if they partner with a professional sports team. Currently, the only professional sports team they can partner with is Sporting Kansas City, the local Major League Soccer team. This amount of skins means Kansas residents will have plenty of options to choose from when they decide to place online bets.
Those four casinos have already started to partner with different sportsbooks. Boothill Casino announced that it has partnered with both DraftKings and Bally Bet. Kansas Crossing has chosen PointsBet and Caesars as its partners. The Kansas Star Casino has partnered with both BetMGM and FanDuel. Finally, Barstool Sportsbook will be operating out of their parent-owned Hollywood Casino.
While the launch date coincides with the start of the NFL season, Kansas residents can also place bets on their favorite in-state colleges. Unlike some other states, Kansas will allow its residents to bet on in-state colleges. This means whether you are a Jayhawk, Wildcat, or Shocker fan, you will be able to bet on your team's upcoming college football games.
Interestingly, the bill also allocates 80% of the revenue generated from sports betting into a new “Attracting Professional Sports in Kansas” fund. While the state government has not provided that this fund will target any team in particular, it is hard to imagine it isn't aimed at the Kansas City Chiefs. With the NFL being the highest earning league in the country, it would be no surprise that Kansas is going after its neighboring state's biggest money maker. The Chiefs currently reside on the Missouri side of Kansas City. This fund will allow the state to allocate money to incentivize the Chiefs to pack up and move across state lines to build a new stadium in Kansas.
Stephen Durrell ended the announcement by stating that more information would be released in the coming weeks regarding Kansas sports betting. Stay tuned as we will cover all those updates here on Conduct Detrimental.
Justin Mader is a recent graduate of the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law where he earned a J.D. and a Sports and Entertainment Law Certificate. He can be reached via Twitter: @maderlaw and LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/justin-mader-15a602119/.