Boyd Gaming and FanDuel opened Thursday morning the FanDuel Sportsbook at the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane. The official ribbon-cutting event featured a ceremonial first bet placed by Super Bowl champion and former Kansas State Wildcat Jordy Nelson.
The sportsbook’s debut came the same day Kansas officially launched its sports betting market, and a week after sports gaming started with a “soft launch” phase on Sept. 1. Kansas’ four state-owned casinos are now accepting in-person wagers, and an initial group of six mobile platforms –Barstool, BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, Fanduel and PointsBet– have gone live.
The FanDuel Sportsbook also opened the same day of the NFL season kick-off. Officials for Kansas Star Casino said the amenity –which totals 2,100 square feet and has 20 self-service kiosks, four betting windows, and TV wall– will imply a huge addition to the property, expected to draw numbers of fans.
Opening the new amenity took a lot of work in a short window of time, said Boyd Gaming Vice President of Communications David Strow. “Since we had the go from the legislature passing legislation, we’ve been pretty much working triple shifts to get this place ready,” he said, according to KWCH.
While Boyd Gaming has already worked with FanDuel before as part of an existing partnership, Strow said Kansas is unique. “I’ve been out to help with a lot of these sportsbook openings across the country and I’ve never seen anything like what we have from Kansas and from Wichita,” he noted.
FanDuel Vice President of Retail Operations Jeff Lowich added that south-central Kansas is “a very sport-hungry part of the county,” especially when it comes to college sports. “And a lot of Kansas City Chiefs fans as well,” Lowich said, as reported by the cited source.
Furthermore, FanDuel’s VP of Retail Operations added that since sports betting became legal on Sept. 1, a lot of first-timers have come out to the Kansas Star Casino. With the brand new sportsbook now open, the casino expects this to be the case throughout both the college football and NFL seasons.
The previous week was called a soft launch by state officials to let casinos and retailers work any issues out, but overall, Loesch told KAKE that the company had “no issues” during the initial phase. For the most part, that week allowed the casino to focus on showing people the sportsbook ahead of the first weekend of the NFL season.
Former Kansas State Wildcat Jordy Nelson
Speaking from an athlete’s perspective, Nelson said Thursday that sports betting adds more excitement to every game, as long as it is in a respectful manner. “For 18- and 20-, 21-year-olds — hopefully the people gambling aren’t getting too upset with them, I think that’s where you have to be respectful and be responsible with what you’re doing,” Nelson said, according to Wichita Business Journal.
“Understand not a single athlete is out there thinking, ‘Oh, if somebody’s got money on this and I’m going to screw them up.’ We’re here to win ball games and play our best. Sometimes it will go your way and sometimes it won’t, you have to deal with those consequences,” he added.