Kansas Finally Legalizes Sports Betting

“We’re not in Kansas anymore” is a popular movie quote. It might be said less now that the state has legalized sports betting.

Why use that quote from ‘The Wizard of Oz’? Well, with sports betting not legal in Kansas, many gamblers had to cross the border to neighbouring states to place their bets. Those days will be sometime in the future after Governor Laura Kelly signed Senate Bill 84. That is the legislation that will see sports betting legalized in Kansas.

It’s not known just when this will happen, but it’s hoped that betting will begin sometime in the summer. That would be in time for the college football and NFL seasons.

The signature of the governor is a major step forward. It makes Kansas the 35th American state to legalize sports betting. Late last month the Senate and House of Representatives both approved the Bill. It’s taken a while as it was initially introduced in 2020.

There was opposition to the bill with the vote in the House of Representatives seeing 73 in favour and 49 against. In the Senate, the vote was 21 to 13.

The bill will allow the four state-affiliated casinos in Kansas to offer sports betting to their customers. This will be both in-person and online. The four casinos can both partner with up to three sportsbook operators. Companies such as DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars Entertainment and FanDuel will be among the potential partners.

It’s not just the casinos who will be able to offer sports betting. Non-profit fraternal or veterans organisations and restaurants are among those who will also be able to do so.

It’s not a case that politicians in Kansas have suddenly fallen in love with gambling. There may well be desire by many to be placing bets on the Kansas City Chiefs, but this is what the governor had to say. “Legalising sports betting will bring more revenue to our state and grow our economy,” said the governor.

Those comments are of course linked to the fact that all sports betting revenue will be subject to a 10% level of taxation. That’s less than was originally considered with the initial tax planned to be 20%. The tax revenue will be put to good use. 80% of it will go into a fund that has the aim of attracting professional sports teams to the state.

Just how high could gambling revenues be in Kansas? The results are in for how gambling companies in Indiana fared in April. Revenue was $221.7 million. Tax revenue from sports betting and casino games (especially slots) amounted to $23.4 million.