When will sports betting begin in Kansas? State Lottery hints at imminent announcement

Paul Sancya/AP

Kansas is poised to announce the start date of sports betting on Thursday, bringing legal betting one step closer after years of waiting.

The Kansas Lottery, one of the two agencies that will play a role overseeing sports betting in the state, suggestively tweeted a looky eyes emoji on Wednesday evening in response to a tweet from 610 Sports radio host Alex Gold that the announcement would come Thursday.

A source familiar with the timing of the announcement also told The Star it would occur Thursday.

The first day of sports betting appears uncertain, but is widely expected to happen sometime in the fall, during the NFL season. The NFL season begins Sept. 8.

Kansas lawmakers approved sports betting this spring after four years of negotiations. Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly signed a bill to legalize sports betting in May.

The bill required the state’s betting infrastructure to be in place before the end of the calendar year, in time for Kansans to bet on the Chiefs, or any other team, in the NFL playoffs, if not before. Missourians are also likely to flock to Kansas to place bets.

Under the sports betting bill, Kansas Lottery can authorize sports wagering through existing lottery gaming facility managers— the four casinos Kansas contracts with— and through sports wagering platforms. Kansas will allow sports betting to take place on online platforms, within casinos, and inside designated areas at sporting arenas— such as Children’s Mercy Park and the Kansas Speedway in Wyandotte County.

The Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission paved the way for the announcement last week by unanimously approving regulations governing sports betting, Wichita TV station KWCH reported.