Chris Reedy gets a lot of phone calls from customers asking when they’ll be able to place a sports bet at the Boot Hill Casino in Dodge City, Kansas. He finally has an answer.
Six mobile platforms are poised to go live Thursday in Kansas, and sometime in October, bettors in southwest Kansas and driving in from neighboring Colorado, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas will be able to place an in-person bet at the DraftKings-branded sportsbook at Boot Hill. The casino will open a temporary sportsbook adjacent to the casino cage in the old high-limit area ahead of the permanent location, which should open in early 2023. But bettors this fall will be able to catch a game on TV and bet via kiosk. Tickets will be able to be redeemed at the casino cage.
Reedy, the vice president and attorney for Butler National Corporation, parent company of Boot Hill Casino, is excited for the latest opportunity in an area where tourists can visit the Gunslinger Wax Museum and the former Fort Dodge Jail. Dodge City embraces its Old West roots, and the the new DraftKings retail sportsbook will do the same.
Reedy said it will be an “intimate” location with a “beautiful bar” and an LED wall as centerpieces. At 2,500 square feet, the new book will be cozy but will have myriad features, including two teller windows, multiple kiosks, odds boards, and light food-and-beverage offerings. Reedy said one-third of the cost of the renovation is going into audio-visual components. The new book will accommodate between 60-65 people.
“The theme of the casino is to make people feel comfortable and welcome,” Reedy said. “We want the same for the sportsbook. The focus really is to add our drive to tourism and bring people in and complement our amenities.”
Bring on Oklahoma-Texas fans
Dodge City is uniquely positioned to take advantage of tourists and bettors from three non-sports betting states, as well as those in southeastern Colorado, who might not be near a retail sportsbook at home. The location means that Boot Hill Casino should have an interesting fall that will likely include watch parties and events around the Texas-Oklahoma game and other big college football games.
“I think it will be a unique opportunity and particularly since at least for Texas and Oklahoma, we’re well ahead of the game, so you’ll see us fairly aggressively go after customers,” Reedy said. “What will be interesting to see is what happens when people cross the borders. Getting them into the casino, the book will be significantly complementary.”
As has happened in legal wagering states across the nation, it’s likely that residents of non-wagering states will drive just across the Kansas border starting Thursday to place a digital wager. Boot Hill Casino is prepared to take advantage — in addition to DraftKings, Boot Hill has made digital deals with Bally Bet and Golden Nugget. According to the Kansas Lottery, only the DraftKings platform is approved to go live Thursday, but it likely won’t be long before the others follow, meaning Boot Hill should see plenty of action.
Six set to go live Thursday
“The calls we’ve been receiving, it’s absolutely exciting to offer Kansans what they want and our partner DraftKings is top-notch,” Reedy said. “We’re very fortunate to have a partner in this program that is putting forth the effort to meet the goals.”
Join me tomorrow night right here on Twitter for all things KS Sports betting launch! Lot of people have asked questions and we’ll get them all answered ahead of the launch on Thursday. #Sportswagering @Kansas_Lottery @610SportsKC https://t.co/doWJQeoVru
— Alex Gold (@AlexGold) August 29, 2022
Under Kansas law, each of the state’s four retail casinos can partner with up to three digital platforms. The regulators are set to launch mobile platforms from Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet as early as noon Thursday. The Barstool Sportsbook at the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway is also planning to open Thursday.