Last updated: June 1, 2020
Status: With no consensus on what the future of sports betting should look like in Kansas, the state is still a long way off being able to offer sports wagering to citizens and tourists in the region.
ETA: With five bills already drafted and none successfully passed, it could be another year before any further progress is made. Some experts predict it could be 2021 before sports betting is launched in the state.
Since the Supreme Court opened the door to legalized sports betting across the United States, Kansas has been trying to get their own legislation in place. Five bills have been drafted so far, including two backed by Federal and State Affairs that proposed that the state lottery should also regulate the sportsbooks. Other bills have suggested only allowing sports betting at horse racing tracks and others have required 'integrity' contributions to professional sports leagues.
The latest version of the bill proposes the lottery model and also requires the compulsory purchase of official league data.
Pari-mutuel betting on horse races was introduced to Kansas in 1986 and continued until 2010, when all the existing licences were revoked. However, there have been moves to try to revive the racing scene in the state.
Kansas has four federally recognized Indian tribes: Iowa, Kickapoo, Sac and Fox, and Prairie Band Potawatomi. As a result, tribal casinos are permitted in the state. The first one was established in 1996 and others have been added since with all four tribes operating at least one casino.
Later, in 2007, state-operated casinos were given the go-ahead via the Kansas Expanded Lottery Act. A total of four casinos were opened offering slot machines and simulcast racing. Other than state-run and tribal gaming establishments, commercial casinos are not allowed. State-owned and operated lottery and keno games are also permitted in Kansas.
Other forms of gaming that are permitted include charitable bingo games that are properly regulated by the revenue department, and contests of skill, speed, strength, or endurance where a prize can be offered.
Sports betting remains in limbo as it is no longer against national law but there are no provisions in place for members of the public to wager legally on sports in Kansas. Therefore, any sports wager placed in the state would technically still be illegal. However, legal sports betting is one step closers after the Kansas Senate passed a retail and mobile bill in February 2020.
The latest draft of the sports betting bill would hand control of sports betting to the state lottery. But with the bill yet to be filed and with the five previous bills all failing, everything is subject to change.
An age limit of 21 or over is expected to be set for sports betting in Kansas.
At this moment in time, there are no legal sports books operating in the state.
There are no licences for sports betting in place. If and when legislation is passed, licences will be issued accordingly.
There are no operators offering legal sports betting in Kansas.
The current sports betting bill does include an option for mobile gaming in the state, However, there are caveats and full details have yet to be established. There could be further changes before an official bill makes it to the governor’s desk.
It has been suggested by a study from Oxford Economics, commissioned by the American Gaming Association (AGA), that Kansas could attract $2.6 billion worth of sports wagers each year, producing revenue of around $170.
Current proposals suggest a tax rate of 6.75%, although that is subject to change due to differences of opinion amongst politicians debating the current bill.
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