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Mobile sports gambling company, casino push for legalized sports betting in Kansas

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 11:47 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - In potentially a big step forward toward possible legalized sports betting in Kansas, mobile sports gambling site, DraftKings announced Tuesday that it’s entered into an agreement with Boot Hill Casino & Resort in Dodge City. With this agreement, DraftKings said it hopes the state will legalize sports wagering during next year’s legislative session that starts in January.

“We have been exited about there being the opportunity for sports wagering in the state of Kansas,” said Kansas Rep. Bradley Ralph, R-Dodge City.

Ralph said he was excited to learn of the DraftKings deal with Boot Hill Casino and the big change that could come through legalized sports betting.

“It would be a plus for Boot Hill Casino & Resort and it would be a plus for the local community, Dodge City and Ford County,” Ralph said. “We have always been very welcoming to Boot Hill. They are a great corporate citizen out here and anything that would further our business would be a huge plus for us in the Dodge City community.”

Kansas lawmakers made progress on sports betting legalization in 2021, but weren’t able to get a bill through to Governor Laura Kelly. There’s optimism for that happening in the upcoming legislative session.

“I was hoping for that last year and we hit a couple of hang-ups with the legislation that came out of the House side, but I am optimistic,” Ralph said. “I think it is one of those issues with circumstance that everybody would like to see that gets done. Sometimes the devil is just in some of the details, but I think we can get there.”

Sports betting is currently legal in 29 states, Ralph hopes to see Kansas soon added to that list.

“It’s more a matter of being responsive to the citizens in the state. There are lots of ideas on what the revenue and income could be in those regards,” he said. “I am not sure I put a lot of stock in those numbers one way or another until we get them in. At this point, I think generally, folks and constituents would like for this to occur, so in some fashion, it will be a positive. How much that will be, I don’t know.”

Eyewitness News reached out to DraftKings and Boot Hill Casino & Resort Tuesday, but as of late Tuesday night, hasn’t received a response.

In an earlier statement, DraftKIngs said in part, “we look forward to the opportunities that lay ahead, and remain optimistic Kansas lawmakers will enact common-sense legislation.”

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