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Kansas Sports Betting

Editor’s note: As of Jan. 13, 2021

Legal sports betting in Kansas is somewhere over the rainbow.

During the 2019 state legislative session, five bills were filed to legalize sports wagering in the state. And at the end of session, five still existed.

Those bills, HB 2390 and SB 222, are essentially the same and sponsored by the Committee on Federal and State Affairs, the same committee where the other three bills have been assigned.

HB 2390 and SB 222 would legalize sports betting via the lottery and Kansas racetracks with the added bonus of mobile and online apps.

There is little or no consensus regarding the other three bills under consideration where one calls for in-person betting at racetracks only, another wants a .25 percent integrity fee paid to professional leagues for “official data.”

The Kansas legislative session ended without a vote on any of the proposed legislation, but the Action Network, which analyzes sports betting legislation across the U.S., believes lawmakers will hit the ground running when they return to session in January 2020. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic however, these bills never moved forward after the Kansas state legislature was adjourned in March 2021.

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The twin bills show promise and would allow mobile betting and wagering on college games. Both have a 6.75 percent tax rate on adjusted gross revenue, no cap on the number of licenses available, wouldn’t mandate the use of legal data, and would be run by the Kansas Lottery.  

The role of casinos in the state’s sports betting landscape is still to be worked out. There are four state casinos and five tribal casinos in the state which offer slots and video gaming.

The latest proposal has lottery outlets being the venue of choice for sports bets. And some lawmakers would prefer casinos are out of the picture, fearful casinos may “mine” gambler data and target them creating problem or addictive habits.

With work still to be done, approval and launch are difficult to predict. An article in the Kansas City Star said sports betting is “more a matter of when than if.”

Gov. Laura Kelly has however indicated that she would not sign any sports betting bill even if it passes the state legislature.

Is sports betting currently legal in the state?

No.

What about horse racing?

Betting on horse racing is completely legal in the state and you can place online wagers with Bet America, Twinspires, and AM Wager.

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