Kansas Sports Betting Bill Moves Closer To The Finish Once Again

Written By Pat Evans on March 4, 2021
Kansas sports betting

Kansas sports betting took another step forward this week.

A substitute bill for SB 84 received a 26-12 approval from the Kansas Senate Wednesday afternoon.

The bill set to expand the state’s lottery to allow sports betting now heads to the House.

Kansas sports betting nears finish line … again

Prior to the COVID-19 shut down in 2020, the state Senate passed a similar sports betting bill.

Kansas entered the 2021 legislative session as one of the states primed to legalize sports betting.

Momentum for last year’s votes seemed to carry over to the new year. Kansas bettors could wager up to $2 billion annually with fully available options, according to studies by Eilers-Krejcik and AGA-Oxford.

Betting bill basics

Each of the state’s four casinos will be allowed to open a retail sportsbook and partner with up to three mobile sportsbook operators.

Sporting facilities can also partner with the casinos for an online sports betting area. Those include:

  • Kansas Speedway
  • Sporting Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy Park

In-state college events are fair game for bettors, as well as college sporting events held in the state. Any greyhound races or and K-12 interscholastic sports are explicitly excluded.

The state would employ a 5.5% tax rate on in-person bets and an 8% tax rate on online wagers. A provision also dictates 2% of lottery gaming facility revenues head to a problem gambling and addictions grant fund.

Kansas casino partners

A majority of the casino partner slots are currently open. Major operators like BetMGM, FanDuel and DraftKings were in support of the Senate bill.

Penn National Gaming does operate the Hollywood Casino, adjacent to the Kansas Speedway. That opens up an opportunity Barstool Sports, which has worked plenty with NASCAR.

Boyd Gaming operates the Kansas Star Casino and PointsBet has access through the Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel.

Tribal sports betting growth potential

The bill has stipulations allowing tribes to renegotiate gaming pacts to potentially allow for sports wagering.

Kansas also has casinos operated by:

  • Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska
  • Kickapoo Tribe of Indians of the Kickapoo Reservation
  • Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation
  • Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska

Most compacts allow for the gaming forms authorized commercially.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Grand Rapids, Michigan-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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