Is Sports Betting Legal in Kansas?

Martin Green
By Martin Green
 |  6 mins
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Is Sports Betting Legal in Kansas?

Kansas sports betting was officially legalized Governor Laura Kelly signed bipartisan legislation at a ceremony on May 12, 2022.

The bill paves the way for four retail sports betting lounges and 12 online sportsbooks to launch in the Sunflower State. The Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission is currently putting the finishing touches on the regulatory framework, and it should issue the first licenses soon. The Commission also oversees horse racing at tracks in the state.

This article delves into the history of the Kansas sports betting bill and explains why the state decided to legalize sports wagering. We will highlight the sportsbooks that will launch, the sports you can bet on and the minimum age for legal sports betting in Kansas.

Read on to learn more about the Kansas legal sports betting industry.

When Will Sports Betting be Legal in Kansas?

The bill that Gov. Kelly signed, SB 84, officially became enshrined in law on July 1, 2022. It set a hard deadline of January 1, 2023, for online sports betting in Kansas to begin in the Sunflower State.

However, the governor is confident that regulators will beat that deadline. She expects the first legal sports betting sites and Kansas betting apps to launch during the opening stages of the 2022 NFL regular season.

When will sports betting be legal in Kansas? We do not yet have a precise date, but it should take place at some point during the fall of 2022. The football season is a major revenue driver for sportsbooks, so the state will be keen to capture as much of it as possible with the introduction of NFL betting sites.

What is the Kansas Sports Betting Bill?

Senate Bill 84 was introduced on January 26, 2021, in a bid to usher in a new era of legal sports betting in Kansas.

However, the bill did not gain approval from both chambers of the Kansas legislature until April 2022. It received several amendments before passing the House and the Senate, but lawmakers eventually agreed on a range of compromises.

The Kansas sports betting bill empowers the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission to oversee the industry. Each of the state's four casinos - Boot Hill, Kansas Crossing, Kansas Star and Hollywood Casino - will receive a master license.

Each casino can build a retail sportsbook and host up to three online sportsbooks on its master license. That means there could be 12 Kansas sports betting apps in the legal sports betting industry. The Kansas sports betting bill ensures that revenue will be taxed at a rate of 10% for online and retail betting on sport.

We are often asked: is online sports betting legal in Kansas? The answer is yes, but we are still waiting for the first sportsbooks to gain the green light to launch. When will sports gambling be legal in Kansas? The first apps should launch in the fall, according to Gov. Kelly's estimates.

Kansas Sports Betting History

  • May 14, 2018; The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that PASPA - a federal sports wagering ban - was unconstitutional. The decision allowed individual states to legalize sports gambling.
  • January 26, 2021: The Kansas sports betting bill, SB 84, was introduced in the Senate.
  • March 3, 2021: Senators voted 26-12 in favor of SB 84, sending it to the Kansas House for consideration.
  • March 30, 2021: Anyone hoping to see Kansas legalize sports betting in 2021 was disappointed, as SB 84 did not clear the various House committees before the legislative session ended for the year.
  • March 17, 2022: The Kansas House picked up SB 84 during the 2022 legislative session amid fears the state would miss out on tax revenue. Representatives gutted the bill and introduced new language.
  • March 30, 2022: The House approved SB 84. It had to go back to the Senate, as there had been major changes since senators approved it the previous year.
  • April 29, 2022: SB 84 passed the Kansas Senate on a 21-13 vote after representatives and senators conferenced to work out their differences.
  • May 12, 2022: Gov. Kelly signed the Kansas sports betting bill.
  • July 1, 2022: The official date at which sports betting became legal in Kansas.

Which Sportsbooks Will be Available at Launch?

Sportsbooks will need to tie up market access deals with the state's four land-based casinos to launch in Kansas:

  • Boot Hill in Dodge City
  • Kansas Crossing in Pittsburg
  • Kansas Star in Mulvane
  • Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway

The state-run Kansas Lottery, which has close ties to the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, owns the casinos. That should make the licensing process quick and smooth. However, private companies operate the casinos on behalf of the Kansas Lottery.

Boot Hill has already tied up deals with DraftKings and Bally Bet, and both could be ready to launch when legal sports betting in Kansas gets underway. A company called JNB operates Kansas Crossing. It is expected to host Caesars sportsbook and PointsBet.

Boyd Gaming runs Kansas Star Casino. It is a minority shareholder in FanDuel, so it will surely host that online sportsbook. Boyd Gaming also has a deal in place with BetMGM sportsbook.

Finally, Hollywood Casino is run by Penn National Gaming. It owns the Barstool brand. Penn National also works with FOX Bet in some states, so that partnership could be extended into Kansas.

We expect BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings sportsbook and FanDuel to be some of the first brands to launch into the Kansas legal sports betting market, as that has been the case in many other states across the country. 

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Why Has Kansas Legalized Online Sports Betting?

Gov. Kelly said that constituents have been asking for legal sports betting ever since the federal ban was overturned. Senator Rob Olson, chair of the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee, added that Kansans have regularly asked: is sports betting legal in Kansas? When will sports betting be legal 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," added Olson.

Efforts to see Kansas legalize sports betting became more urgent in 2022, as lawmakers were concerned that neighboring Missouri would pass a sports betting bill. That would have resulted in Kansans crossing over the border and placing bets in Missouri, meaning the state would lose tax revenue to a neighbor. In the end, Missouri did not legalize sports wagering during the 2022 legislative session, so the reverse will be true: sports fans in Missouri will visit Kansas to place legal wagers with NFL betting apps and other sportsbooks.

The bill stipulates that 80% of the tax revenue the state receives will be funneled to the Kansas Department of Commerce fund. Many reports have suggested the funds will be used to lure professional sports teams to the state.

Some speculated that the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals would be offered large sums to leave Missouri and relocate to the Kansas side of the border. However, Gov. Kelly said she has not reached out to the Chiefs about a potential move, and she warned it would be difficult to raise the necessary funds to attract them, even if it may encourage more visitors to the best NFL betting sites in the state.

Why You Should Only Use a Legal Regulated Sportsbook

Legal, regulated online sportsbooks must uphold strict licensing conditions. They are compelled to grade bets fairly, and you are guaranteed a pay out if you win. You will be fully covered by Kansas consumer protection laws.

That is not the case if you use an unlicensed, offshore sportsbook. They do not fall under the jurisdiction of state officials or federal officials, so they are under no obligations to treat you fairly or pay you any money if you win.

As they are based offshore, sending money to them and receiving withdrawals can be an expensive and painstaking process. Many charge credit card deposit fees, and they try to convince you to use crypto, which comes with network fees. They could be raided and shut down at any time, meaning you would lose your money.

That is not the case if you use a legal, regulated sportsbook. They invest in robust security measures and ensure a safe gaming experience, while they also take responsible gambling seriously.

What Age Will You Need to be to Legally Bet in Kansas?

You must be 21 or older to bet on sports in Kansas. When signing up with a legal sports betting Kansas site or Kansas sports betting app, you will be asked for details such as your address, your date of birth and digits from your SSN. They may also ask you to upload an official ID card, such as your driver's license, to verify your age.

Which Sports Will You be Able to Bet on in Kansas?

You will be able to bet on football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, NASCAR, golf, tennis, MMA and boxing at Kansas legal sports betting sites. Additional sports will include athletics, Aussie Rules, badminton, cycling, darts, handball, Formula 1, IndyCar, lacrosse, pool, rugby union, rugby league, snooker, table tennis, volleyball, water polo and winter sports.

You may be wondering, is online sports betting legal in Kansas on college teams? The answer is yes: you can bet on all college games, including those featuring teams based within the state, and there are no restrictions on college prop bets either. This means you will have a wider range of markets to use any free bets or Kansas betting welcome offers on.

Will Daily Fantasy Sports be Legal?

Daily Fantasy Sports contests have been legal in Kansas since 2015. They have been popular among Kansas residents, which has allowed DraftKings and FanDuel to build up strong customer bases in the state. They could enjoy an advantage over rivals when legal sports betting Kansas gets underway due to their strong brand recognition.

Will Online Casino Games be Legal?

Kansas has not legalized online casino games. Only five states permit online casinos - New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Connecticut and West Virginia. If you want to bet on slots, video poker, blackjack, roulette and baccarat in Kansas, you will need to visit a land-based casino.

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With years of experience under his belt, Martin Green is a well-respected figure in the gambling and sports journalism community. A keen sports writer and professional tipster, Martin also spent five years working with William Hill during his career. A regular writer for bookmakers.co.uk, his work has also been displayed across multiple leading publications across the web.

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