Kansas Becomes 35th State to Legalize Sports Betting

Mobile sports betting will be tethered to the state’s 11 land-based casinos and is scheduled to launch on January 1, 2023. Barstool and FanDuel could have their partners lined up already.
Kansas Governor Kelly is seen sitting behind a desk, shaking hands after signing the kansas sports betting bill into law
By
May 13, 2022

Legalizing sports betting will bring more revenue to our state and grow our economy.Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed a bill Thursday authorizing mobile sports betting, making it the 35th US state where the practice is legal.

Regulators will now face several deadlines in order to ensure that the Sunflower State has mobile sports betting up and running by January 1, 2023, the deadline lawmakers included in SB 84, the bill signed by Kelly.

“Legalizing sports betting will bring more revenue to our state and grow our economy,” the Democratic Governor said in a statement. “This is another mechanism that casinos, restaurants, and other entertainment venues can now utilize to attract Kansans to their establishments.”

The new law takes effect upon its publication in Kansas’ statute book. Statutes are published on July 1.

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Sports Betting Will Be Tied to Land-Based Casinos

Under SB 84, mobile sports betting is tethered to the 11 land-based casinos in the state. Of those, four are commercial facilities and seven are tribal casinos. Each casino will be allowed to have up to three skins, which means Kansas could have as many as 33 active sportsbooks.

Although no operators have yet announced plans to launch in the state, partnerships between operators and two land-based commercial casinos appear likely:

Kansas will levy a tax rate of 10% on gross revenue. SB 84 stipulates that 80% of the tax revenue goes toward a fund designed to provide incentives for a professional sports team to move to the state. Meanwhile, 2% of tax revenue will be deposited into a fund for problem gambling and responsible gaming initiatives.

The state has long dreamt of luring the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, MLB’s Kansas City Royals, or both to Kansas from neighboring Missouri. Revenue from sports betting could ultimately prove to be a useful tool in making such a relocation happen. The Chiefs and Royals play in adjoining stadiums that were constructed in the 1970s and have considered moving into new facilities.

Another factor that could tip the scales in Kansas’ favor is SB 84’s authorization of up to 50 sports betting kiosks statewide, although at least 20% of them (10 kiosks) must be operated by either non-profit fraternal or veteran organizations.

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Several Deadlines Set For Regulators

Several deadlines have been set by SB 84. The bill calls for the Kansas Lottery Commission (KLC) to regulate sports betting in the state and to promulgate rules for the enterprise, but the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission (KRGC) — which regulates the four commercial casinos in the state — will also play a role.

The executive director of the KRGC is required to recommend a process for conducting background investigations into sports wagering platforms to lottery gaming facility managers by August 1. The KRGC must start said background investigations on or before August 15.

SB 84 also stipulates that on or before September 1, the executive director of the KLC must decide on a process for operators to submit requests for approval, as well as a process for platforms to be approved. Lottery gaming facility managers must be notified of both processes.

Kansas becomes the 35th state with legal sports betting but is also one of five states where the market has not yet gone live, according to the American Gaming Association. The others are Florida, Maine, Nebraska, and Ohio.

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