Kansas Sports Betting Bill Ceremoniously Signed, Tribes Looking To Get In on the Action

  • Governor Kelly is optimistic that sportsbooks could launch in time for the football season
  • Tribal casinos will need to negotiate state-tribal gaming compacts to offer sports betting
  • There are multiple steps involved in this process, including a review from the governor
  • Kansas betting revenue will have a 10% tax rate, mainly going towards sports team relocation
Person signing a document
Kansas tribal casinos are looking to get in on the sports betting action as the state governor ceremoniously signs SB 84 into law. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

An exciting time in Kansas

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has ceremoniously signed a sports betting legalization bill into law. Casino sector representatives and lawmakers were present on Monday for the signing of Senate Bill 84 (SB 84) at the statehouse. It is the second US state to legalize sports betting in 2022.

sports betting becomes officially legal in Kansas on July 1

As part of the bill, sports betting becomes officially legal in Kansas on July 1. State gaming regulators will then have until the start of 2023 to finalize the sector’s regulations. Governor Kelly is optimistic that this launch timeline could speed up, stating that sportsbooks may get up and running in time for the beginning of the football season.

Through SB 84, the four state-owned casinos in Kansas can offer retail sports betting, as well as partner with up to three online betting operators. Certain types of non-gaming organizations will also have the option to offer sports betting, such as restaurants, fraternal organizations, and non-profit veteran groups.

Now, the tribal casinos are looking to get in on the action too.

Tribes hoping for a slice

Currently, Kansan tribes are not automatically included in the new sports betting market due to existing gaming compacts. However, lawmakers expect tribes to negotiate changes and become compliant with SB 84. The multi-step process to do so has already begun, as reported by KSNT.

The National Indian Gaming Commission requires tribes to offer Class III gaming through negotiated tribal-state compacts.

In the initial step, tribal casinos must submit an official request for negotiations, which will go for consideration by Gov. Kelly and the Kansas Lottery director. If everyone is happy to proceed, the director will enter an agreement with the tribal casinos on behalf of the state.

Following negotiations for a new compact, the Secretary of the Interior will need to review and approve the new agreement. After this, tribal casinos would then have the option of offering legal sports betting in Kansas.

A long time coming

It has taken some time for sports betting to come to Kansas, with the US federal ban on the activity ending in May 2018.

the Senate voted 21-13 in favor of passing the bill

SB 84 received approval in the House on April 1, but it wasn’t until April 29 that the Senate voted 21-13 in favor of passing the bill too. While the ceremonious signing of the bill by Governor Kelly took place on Monday, she had already technically signed the bill on May 12.

The bill includes a 10% tax rate on sportsbook revenue, with most of the tax revenue going to a sports team relocation fund. Lawmakers are hoping that legalizing sports betting will help to keep money in the state, rather than going over state lines to place bets. The Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission and the Kansas Lottery will regulate the sector.