First sports bets placed in Kansas as soft launch goes off successfully

It was more in hope than in expectation when, in late Spring, Kansas lawmakers said that the newly-legalized sports betting in the state could be ready in time for the NFL season. Between that vote and the kickoff this past weekend, there were certainly moments when it looked as though that hope would be unfulfilled. However, Kansas sports betting did go live on the first day of September, and many bets were placed on Sunday evening as the local Kansas City Chiefs got their season underway against the Arizona Cardinals.

The initial launch on September 1 was deemed a “soft launch”, with the official launch taking place a week later. As of this moment, Kansans can bet online with six sports betting sites now legal in the state. In addition, sportsbooks have opened at two casinos within the state, attached to rooms in which the casino patrons can watch sporting action before, during,  and after they place their bets. Another casino, the Boot Hill Casino, will launch its sports betting platform later, towards the end of October.

As recently as August 22, the launch had appeared to be in some doubt after the state Attorney General’s office revealed that there were significant legal shortcomings in the state’s regulations which would need to be remedied before the provision of betting could be greenlit. These issues were, however, remedied to the Att. Gen’s satisfaction within three days, and the companies behind the state’s online sportsbooks confirmed that they were ready for launch.

Some confusion appears to have surrounded the launch, as there were close to 100,000 attempts to place bets on the online platforms from neighboring state Missouri, which does not have legal sports betting at the present time. Much of this confusion may have arisen from the fact that Kansas City itself lies within Missouri state lines; 60,000 of the attempted bets came from the metropolitan area, potentially from bettors confused by the news that betting was now legal in Kansas.

Nonetheless, many KC residents made the trip to state casinos such as the Hollywood Casino on the 11th to watch the season-opening game between the Chiefs and Cardinals. A relatively one-sided game ended 44-21, with locals betting on markets including total points in the game, total passing yards for KC quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and the scorer of the first touchdown among others

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