Bill Would Allow Up To Eight Mobile Sportsbooks
Legal Sports Report

Will Kansas Sports Betting Bill Again Be Dust In The Wind?

Kansas sports betting

Kansas sports betting could become a reality through a seemingly favorable bill that would legalize mobile wagering.

SB 283 has many of the qualities that appear in successful sports betting bills nationwide. Each of Kansas’ four casino operators, technically regulated by the Kansas Lottery, would get two sports betting licenses. Each license allows mobile betting, which means there could be eight online sportsbooks in the state.

Commercial terms are operator-friendly. Retail bets would have revenue taxed at 7.5%, while online bets are taxed at 10%. The bill did not include details for application or license fees.

No in-person sign-up for Kansas sports betting

There’s also isn’t a requirement for in-person registration, meaning bettors can create and fund accounts directly from the sportsbook apps.

Finally, there’s no college betting ban. That’s a necessity for states without a professional team in any of the four major sports.

Overall, the bill shows collaboration among leadership, legislature and casino operators, Jeff Morris, Penn National’s VP of Public Affairs & Government Relations said. The hope is to get Kansas sports betting legalized and operational by the 2020 football season, Morris added.

There’s also an incentive to get something done because of Kansas’ bordering states as well. Colorado is launching sports betting May 1 while Missouri and Nebraska currently have bills in the legislature that would legalize sports betting.

SB 283 will get its first hearing on Jan. 29.

Potential Kansas sports betting participants

We can narrow down some of the likely sportsbooks that would enter Kansas thanks to market access deals signed by casino operators.

Penn National, the operator of Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, maintained its primary skin in every state it operates after signing multiple state-access agreements. That means a sportsbook powered by Kambi could be coming, but branding is still unclear. It could have something to do with Barstool Sports if the rumored acquisition comes to fruition.

It also gave The Stars Group access to its second available skin in the state. That means Fox Bet would likely be the second operator under Penn’s licenses.

Boyd Gaming‘s Kansas Star could sign agreements with FanDuel Sportsbook and BetMGM based on its two market access deals.

The remaining four licenses for Butler National, the operator of Boot Hill, and Kansas Crossing operator JNB Gaming, are likely up for grabs to the highest bidders.

Betting at two KS sports venues, too

The only two professional sports venues in Kansas would get access to sports betting as well.

NASCAR track Kansas Speedway and Children’s Mercy Park, home of Major League Soccer‘s Sporting KC, could have KS sports betting areas. Both venues would have to sign an agreement with one of Kansas’ four casinos for a sports betting area, though no on-site retail betting would be allowed.

The natural fit for both venues would be Penn National’s Hollywood, as the two are a stone’s throw from the casino.

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- Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.
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