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Embracing the inevitable, DraftKings just went all in on Kansas by securing a market agreement with the Boot Hill Casino and Resort located in Dodge City, a sign that though there is no legal sports betting market currently operating in the Sunflower State, chances are there soon will be.
Before this deal becomes official, it would be subject to whatever sports betting legislation and regulations are put in place by the state, and first DraftKings would have to apply for and receive whatever applicable licenses and approvals would be required.
It’s a preemptive move that gets the sports betting ball rolling in Kansas, one that excites Clark Stewart, chief executive officer of Boot Hill Casino, who told the press:
We are pleased to work with DraftKings to bring a first in class mobile sportsbook to Kansas. DraftKings is a leader in this fast growing industry and will bring a trusted, experienced mobile sports betting application to sports fans in Kansas, when the law allows.
The feeling is mutual, according to Jeremy Elbaum, senior Vice President of Business Development at DraftKings, who said:
As we continue our quest to expand our mobile sportsbook footprint to every state in the US, we are eager to begin working with Boot Hill Casino & Resort.
Except first, a sports betting law in Kansas must be passed.
The journey towards legal sports betting in Kansas was stalled for most of 2020 due to the worldwide pandemic, and it wasn’t until January of 2021 that two bills were introduced to the state legislature, one to the Senate (SB 84), the other to the House (HB 2199).
For that next month, both the state House and Senate held hearings where the merits of both bills were debated, so that by March 2021 there was high hope that both bills will pass and in one form or other get to Governor Laura Kelly’s desk to be signed into law.
But in April 2021, the Kansas House rejected the sports betting bill, and that essentially put the brakes on legalization for the rest of this year,
With 2021 ending, all efforts for legal sports betting market in Kansas must be pushed back to January 2022 when the next legislative session begins with hopefully enough time in between for industry leaders to continue to make their case to move forward.
Wheat State sports bettors are already placing wagers using offshore sportsbooks and by traveling to nearby states where that activity has already been made legal, but all that money is going elsewhere and not benefitting residents of Kansas, something a legal in-state market would correct.
Elbaum of DraftKings is hopeful this will happen, saying:
We look forward to the opportunities that lay ahead and remain optimistic that Kansas lawmakers will enact common-sense legislation that will benefit the state and its constituents.
Keep checking back for all the latest news and updates on this unfolding story.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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