Kansas Legislators Hope 2020 Sports Betting Momentum Carries Over

Posted on February 3, 2021

Kansas sports betting is back on the table.

Senate Bill 84 was introduced on Jan. 27, with companion bill House Bill 2199 introduced Tuesday. Both propose expanding the state lottery to oversee KS sports betting.

Several efforts to legalize sports betting in Kansas failed in the past. The Kansas Senate did pass a sports betting bill in February 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic stymied the effort in the House.

Each of the state’s four casinos, which are controlled by the lottery, would gain the ability to open a retail sportsbook and partner with up to three mobile sports betting platforms. The proposed bill does not outline any specific registration rules.

A positive outlook

If the early 2020 momentum carries over and Gov. Laura Kelly jumps on board, mobile sports betting could be available in the state later this year. Kansas would tax 7.5% of wagers received in-person and 10% from bets placed through online partners.

With a population just shy of 3 million, Kansas likely won’t come near the betting tourism similarly-sized Nevada.

Mississippi generated $43 million in revenue in 2020 with its population of approximately 3 million.

Neighboring Missouri is also among many states considering sports betting legislation this year.

Kansas sports betting partnerships

PointsBet gained market access through a partnership with Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel last year. Boyd Gaming runs the Kansas Star Casino, giving its partner FanDuel an inside edge.

Penn National Gaming operates the Hollywood Casino, meaning Barstool Sportsbook is the likely brand.

Other major operators are unaffiliated in Kansas, but with 12 partnerships likely available there would be plenty of slots to go around.

Sporting exceptions

Through a “sporting facility” designation, the Kansas Speedway could be home to an online sports betting area in partnership with the nearby Hollywood Casino.

A stipulation in the bill could allow Native American tribes with gaming operations to renegotiate their state agreements to include sports betting in some form.

Under most state compacts, tribes can offer any form of gaming authorized commercially.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Las Vegas-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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