The move towards legalizing sports betting in Kansas took a leap forward in March 2021, when the state Senate passed a bill that allowed retail and mobile sports betting via its four state casinos.
However, the House did not agree and although they worked to come to an agreement, the bill died out in May, when the session ended.
However, all isn’t lost – and there are hopes that legalization could happen in 2022…
The Future of Sports Betting in Kansas
As we speak, the hopes for the possibility of legalization of sports betting in 2022 are strong, but there’s still much to be done.
When Will Kansas Allow Online Sports Betting?
With any luck, legal mobile Kansas sports betting could be made available before 2022 comes to an end – as long as the Governor, House and Senate can all come to an agreement on the main details before the end of the upcoming session.
In 2021, a Senate bill did allow for a state casino to strike a partnership with no more than three online betting sites – which could pave the way for 12 online and mobile sports betting sites. However, the House wanted to amend this to just one per casino.
Additionally, in 2020 and in 2021, Kansas looked at the possibility of a tiered tax rate – with in-person betting rates at 5.5% and online sports betting at 8% but the House wanted higher rates.
Kansas Sports Betting Now
- April 2021: Senate Bill 44, which would have allowed for four casinos to offer sports betting with up to three online sports betting partners passed with a vote of 26-12 in March but didn’t make it past the House.
- 16th November 2021: Boot Hill Casino struck a partnership with DraftKings for if and when sports betting is legalized in Kansas in 2022.
- 13th December 2021: The National Council of Legislators from Gaming States declared that Kansas had a good chance of legalizing sports betting in 2022
- 7th January 2022: An industry insider said that he felt Kansas had a better than 50-50 chance of legalization this year.
- 12th January 2022: The Chairman of The Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee said they would lead the charge to pass sports betting legislation and legalize sports betting in 2022.
- 30th January 2022: Neighboring state, Missouri starts considering multiple bills legalizing sports betting.
- 6th February 2022: Senator Rob Olson, chair of the Federal and State Affairs Committee said that sports betting will be a priority in the coming year.
Kansas Sports Betting Timeline Pre 2021
Let’s look at the progress sports betting legislation has made from 2021 onwards…
In March 2021, the Kansas Senate passed a bill that would expand the state lottery and allow the four Kansas casinos to partner with up to three online sports betting sites.
However, when at the House, it was voted against 77-40, which ended up killing any chance of sports betting legalization in Kansas by the end of that year. The House requested that there were changes made to the proposed bill including a legal sports betting partner for the lottery, which would allow for up to 1,200 retailers to be able to accept wagers on lottery approved machines. It also called for state casinos to be allowed only one Kansas sports betting online partner.
Another issue faced by Kansas sports betting was that the state Governor, Laura Kelly, was against plans to legalize sports betting – but could be placated by more money coming in through the lottery.
Back in 2020, the state Senate was in favor of a more gambling industry-friendly route to legislation – passing a bill that authorized sports betting with a two-tier tax structure – 3.5% for retail wagers and 10% for online sports bets.
A House hearing indicated that this bill was widely supported by all the Kansas casinos, but it did face opposition from the non-operating racetracks and the state’s horse and greyhound industries. It was also reported that the Governor, Laura Kelly, would refuse to sign the bill as it was.
The two bills – the proposed Senate bill and the proposed House bill were very different propositions. The House bill wanted to allow sports betting at up to 1,200 lottery retailers and double the in-person and online gambling tax rate.
A compromise would never be easy – and sadly, any chance they had of legalizing Kansas sport betting sites came to an end after the legislative session was cut short by three weeks due to coronavirus.
Things were looking very positive for sports betting at the start of 2019. However, the state’s legislative effort never even got started as it couldn’t even be agreed who would run the sports wagering industry.
The Kansas Constitution states that any gambling needs to be run by the state. That is why the four Kansas casinos are state-owned but partnered with gaming companies to operate and run them properly.
There was an effort to run Kansas sports betting at a 50% tax rate, but there was so much opposition from the casinos, that all efforts died.
Kansas legislature had been considering its moves regarding sports betting legislation since PASPA was first overturned by the US Supreme Court in May. They were hoping to be one of the first states past the post with sports betting legalization.
Three bills were heard – including one allowing the Kansas state lottery to act as Kansas sports betting sites, taking bets at lottery retailers and contracting with gaming and horse racing facilities
It was also one of the first states in which a ‘sports betting integrity fee’ was proposed in favor of pro sports leagues.
Legal Betting Options in Kansas
If you are looking for legal betting opportunities in Kansas, then there’s betting on horse races. However, there aren’t any tracks that operate in Kansas.
At the moment horse betting is only available in Kansas through sports mobile apps like BetAmerica, TwinSpires and TVG.
Another option for betting is offshore websites – but these are not legal. These sites do not have licenses from any US jurisdiction, which means that they can’t legally accept bets from any US bettors.
If it hasn’t received state regulation, then an offshore site can’t be trusted – so if they don’t pay out winnings or run off with your money, then there’s nothing you can do.
The only way you can safely bet on sports in the US is by placing a wager on a betting site that has been licensed.
Most Popular Sports In Kansas
This is a state that is home to followers of teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals – and there are plenty of serious sports betting fans in the Sunflower State.
College basketball is very popular inside Kansas, with teams such as the Kansas Jayhawks – which has a huge following. Pro sports fans tend to follow Missouri professional sports teams.
Kansas NCAA Betting
The biggest draw in Kansas for NCAA betting is the Kansas Jayhawks. They have one of the best college programs in the entire country and the team was favorite to win their fourth NCAA Tournament win before March Madness was canceled because of coronavirus.
Other Kansas NCAA teams are the Kansas State Wildcare and the Wichita State Shockers.
Kansas NFL Betting
The most popular sport for sports betting in the US is the NFL – and most Kansas residents follow the Kansas City Chiefs. The Super Bowl winners in 2020 have their games televised throughout the state.
Some residents of Western Kansas support the Denver Broncos and the Dallas Cowboys is also a popular team in the state.
Kansas NBA Betting
Kansas doesn’t have its own NBA team, but the sport is still popular in the state, especially in the midwest, with most Kansans supporting their southern neighbors – the Oklahoma City Thunder squad.
NCAA basketball fans can also follow previous Kansas Jayhawks player, Joel Embiid, who now plays for the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers.
Kansas MLB Betting
Most MLB fans in the state are also Kansas City Royals fans. This team enraptured a whole new generation of fans after winning their first World Series for 30 years back in 2015.
Kansas MLS Betting
The state has one top-level MLS sports team – the Kansas City Wizards. Had the Senate bill passed in 2020, then sports betting would have been allowed where the Wizards play, around Children’s Mercy Park.
Kansas Motorsports Betting
This is also popular for Kansas sports betting as there are two yearly NASCAR races that are held at Kansas Speedway.
Daily Fantasy Sports in Kansas
In many states, Daily Fantasy Sports is a gray area, but there is certainly no gray area in Kansas.
This was cleared up in 2015 after Governor Sam Brownack signed a bill to legalise fantasy sports betting.
As such, major Daily Fantasy Sports betting sites such as FanDuel, DraftKings, Fantasy Draft and Yahoo! are all allowed to operate in the state legally.
Legal Horse Racing in Kansas
Horse racing is legal in Kansas, but there has been no live horse racing in the state since 2008.
Back in 1987, horse and greyhound racing was legalized after the passing of the Kansas Parimutuel Racing Act. However, the state’s three horse racing tracks and one greyhound track that were operational in the state closed straight after the Kansas Expanded Lottery Act of 2007 legalized casino gaming.
This same act also allowed racetracks to provide slot machines. However, they would be taxed at 40% as opposed to the 22% payable by the state casinos.
The reopening of the tracks has been discussed if they are permitted to provide sports betting and are given the same tax rate as casinos for electronic gambling machines. The attempted amendment to the 2020 Kansas sports betting bill on lowering the racetrack tax rate to 22% just about fell short of the mark.
Anyone looking for online horse betting in Kansas can do so through sites including BetAmerica, TwinSpires and TVG. This is the only way possible until a legal Kansas sports betting site opens.
Kansas sports betting FAQ
Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Kansas?
No, legalized sports betting hasn’t reached Kansas yet – and that includes online sports betting and retail sports betting. This may change in the coming year as legislators are expressing interest in legalizing online gambling.
Who Would Regulate Kansas Sports Betting?
It is likely that the Kansas Lottery would oversee sports betting in the state, with the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission looking at the regulation.
Will Mobile Sports Betting be Legalized?
Probably. Based on the bill passed by the Kansas Senate in 2020 and other proposed amendments, legalization of sports wagering would also include mobile sports wagering. It looks promising for all different Kansas sports betting!