Kansas Bill Legalizing Fantasy Sports Signed By Governor Brownback
Legal Sports Report

Game On In Kansas: State Officially Legalizes Fantasy Sports

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a bill legalizing fantasy sports in the state, clearing up a gray area for Kansans wanting to play DFS.

No problems for fantasy players anymore

The bill — HB 2155 — was a wide-ranging piece of legislation that also dealt with charitable gaming, bingo, raffles and the lottery, in addition to authorizing real-money fantasy sports.

There was little reason to question the bill would be signed by the governor, as it had wide support in the legislature. The House passed the bill 98-21, and the state senate approved the bill by a vote of 37-1.

Brownback signed the bill on Tuesday afternoon. The most recent bill to become a law that legalized fantasy sports was Maryland in 2012.

What it means

In reality, the bill changes very little. Among major DFS sites, Star Fantasy Leagues was the only one not to accept players from Kansas. SFL actually began accepting players from the state after an opinion issued by the attorney general on DFS.

DraftKings and FanDuel already accepted players from Kansas. Currently, most DFS sites do not operate in five states.

The bill was deemed necessary because of the stance taken by the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, which had stated that daily fantasy sports contests constituted an illegal lottery. Despite the KRGC’s stance, no DFS sites or users had ever come under legal scrutiny for offering or playing fantasy sports in the state.

Other states

There are currently five active bills dealing with fantasy sports played online.

Of those, only Louisiana’s effort to legalize fantasy sports has had any momentum lately, after passing a vote in the state house, 71-20. That bill was supposed to have a committee hearing in the senate today, but the bill was “voluntarily deferred,” meaning it is probably going to be rescheduled, likely for next week.

Photo by frank thompson photos used under license CC BY-NC 2.0

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Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.