A bill that will usher in the era of legal Kansas sports betting has been signed into law by the governor.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s office on Thursday announced she had signed Senate Bill 84, which will allow for in-person and the best sports betting sites to operate in the Midwestern state.
“Legalizing sports betting will bring more revenue to our state and grow our economy,” Kelly said in a press release. “This is another mechanism that casinos, restaurants, and other entertainment venues can now utilize to attract Kansans to their establishments.”
SB 84 would enable sports betting in the Sunflower State through its four commercial casinos.
Each casino operator could take bets on their properties and at 50 other brick-and-mortar locations, as well as via three online sportsbooks. The casinos could also apply for one more digital “skin” if it is tied to a professional sports team.
Restaurant owners and veteran organizations are among those who could have kiosk-based sports betting at their establishments. SB 84 allows for new gaming compacts to be negotiated with the state’s federally recognized Native American tribes too, which would allow them to offer sports betting at their casinos.
Kansas residents will have to be 21 or older and physically located in the state to wager.
'Something that Kansans are already doing'
“I was excited to pass sports wagering in Kansas, it’s something that Kansans are already doing, and it will bring additional tax revenue to our state to help with our needs,” Sen. Rob Olson said in the release. “My constituents have pushed for this legislation for years, and now, the next time we have a significant sporting event in our state, Kansans will be able to bet on their hometown team."
Sports-betting revenue will be taxed at a 10% rate in Kansas. The lion’s share of the money raised will go to a fund designed to attract professional sports teams to the state, such as the Missouri-based Kansas City Chiefs.
Indeed, in an important development for Kansas lawmakers, it means they have officially beaten rival Missouri to the punch by legalizing sports betting first. It looks increasingly unlikely Missouri legislators will do so at all in the near future.
Kansas is now the 35th U.S. state with legal sports betting. When exactly sports betting will start in the state is not known yet, although it could be this year.
SB 84 requires the executive director of the Kansas Lottery to establish a submission process to approve wagering platforms by September 1. The Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission must also start background investigations of the platforms by August 15 and adopt permanent sports betting-related regulations by Jan. 1, 2023.
“We have heard from our constituents for years about the need for a sports wagering program here in Kansas, both for the value it will bring to their lives and for the revenues it will generate for our state,” Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau said in Thursday’s press release. "I’m proud to have contributed to this package that will do just that and revitalize my community by creating jobs in Wichita."