At noon (Arrowhead Time) on Thursday, sports betting became legal in the state of Kansas. While the official launch will take place on September 8, Thursday’s “soft launch” includes state-sponsored, privately-operated sports wagering at Hollywood Casino in Kansas City and Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane.
Even when using online betting apps like DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, BetMGM, BallyBet and Points Bet — all of which are available for Thursday’s soft launch — bettors are required to be physically within the state of Kansas. The state is collecting a 10% tax on gambling revenue, which is expected to provide an annual revenue stream of about $5-10 million.
And the Kansas City Chiefs are all-in. In addition to its existing sponsorship deal with DraftKings, the team announced a new sponsorship deal with BetMGM on Thursday.
“We’ve been working for almost four-and-a-half years — pretty diligently and consistently — on this issue,“ said Chiefs president Mark Donovan at his Thursday news conference. “We’re strong believers in the benefits of legalized sports betting for our fans — and also the financial impact it can have on the states that legalize it. We’re really excited that Kansas has officially legalized sports betting. The government [and] politicians — the folks in charge — have accelerated the timeline to be able to launch today.
“With that, we’re excited also to announce that we have formed partnerships with BetMGM and DraftKings to be official partners with our organization and create really unique ways for Chiefs Kingdom to activate and for our fans in the state of Kansas to enhance their experience in being a fan of this great team.”
Donovan said that the Chiefs, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Blues and St. Louis Cardinals are all working to make sports betting legal in Missouri, too. While a recent effort toward legalized sports betting failed in the Missouri legislature, Donovan said the Kansas program may help speed it along.
“I will share that if you look at what’s happened over the last four, five years, typically, in situations which we’re in,” noted Donovan, “where a state like Missouri gets surrounded by states that are legal — and we’re not completely surrounded, Missouri, but we’re close now with Kansas — it tends to accelerate the ball a little bit. And they start to see real traction in those states and what it does for those states.
“So hopefully this evidence will further our discussions — and further the evidence [that] it’s something we should do in Missouri. And we are going to continue our efforts to make sure it happens.”