Sports betting opens for business in Kansas; governor gambles on election win

Happy Sports Betting Day to all you Kansans out there!

September 1 marks the first day that sports betting is legally available in Kansas online as well as at “bricks-and-mortar” outlets – but the one making the biggest gamble in the state is governor Laura Kelly.

The Kansas State Legislature got the bill to legalize sports betting through in May, when Kelly promptly signed the bill. In August, she made a relatively surprising announcement that sports betting outlets would be opening for business on September 1. The just 3½ months represents quite the fast-tracking, as most states take between six to eight months to complete the process.

Kelly is about to face a challenge to reelection in the form of Republican state attorney general in the upcoming November election and is reportedly hoping to parlay (so to speak) the sports betting bill passage into an electoral win – but this gamble is looking like a bit of a longshot.

After all, the pro-sports betting stance has bipartisan support (and opposition) throughout the US on various grounds. The Kansas legislation was authored by state senator Rob Olson – a Republican – and political memories tend to be brief. As one former Kansas Democratic Party bigwig put it: “It will help [Kelly] more if the Chiefs are on a roll.”

Well, NFLbets figures Kelly will win in a landslide if Patrick Mahomes stays on the field this season. The Kansas City Chiefs have a bye on the weekend directly preceding the election, but should be 6-1 and coming off a win against the San Francisco 49ers.

Hail to the Chiefs, indeed…

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