© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Sports betting is coming to Kansas just in time for football season

Kansas officials announced Thursday the state is set to launch sports gaming starting September 1, through a "soft launch" at noon that day.
Courtesy of Dodge City's Boot Hill Casino and Resort
Kansas officials announced that the state will launch sports gaming through a "soft launch" at noon on Sept. 1.

Governor Laura Kelly announced last week that Kansas will legalize sports gambling in September.

Kansas officials announced that the state will launch sports gaming at a "soft launch" on noon of Sept. 1.

Sports betting in Kansas will be overseen by the Kansas Lottery, and will officially open fully on Sept. 8, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

The four casinos with contracts to receive bets are Boot Hill Casino & Resort in Dodge City, Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, and Kansas Crossing Casino & Hotel in Pittsburg.

Butler National Corporation, an Olathe-based organization, manages Boot Hill Casino in Dodge City. Butler already has a partnership with two national sports betting brands, Bally Sports and Draft Kings, according to Butler Vice President, Chris Reedy.

Boot Hill Casino’s focus has been on the behind-the-scenes elements of sports wagering.

"There's all sorts of testing going on in the background. I mean, from a security perspective," Reedy said. "There are a lot of controls both state level and federal level that we need to comply with—a lot of that background information that a patron will never know and may never see."

Many worry about the dangers sports gambling can present, specifically addiction. Max Bichsel, vice president of U.S. business at the Gambling.com Group, said it's easy to point a finger, but gambling addiction is similar to alcohol and tobacco.

"There's structures in place to make sure that people are as protected as possible and is incumbent upon the entire ecosystem. It's not just the operators. It's not just the casinos. It's not just the players," Bichsel said. "We use Boot Hill and Draft Kings as examples. Draft Kings has algorithms in place to identify problematic behavior. They start to look at how many times people are wagering or their stake sizes growing".

Stay Connected
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As an assistant producer on Up To Date, my goal is to amplify voices of people who serve as pioneers in their respective fields while shedding light on issues that affect underserved communities. I produce daily conversations to uplift and inspire the people of the Kansas City area to make the world a better place. You can reach me at reginalddavid@kcur.org.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.