Kansas is a small but proud state in the American heartland. While it doesn’t have a huge professional sports industry, many of its residents are big fans of professional franchises from neighboring states, such as the teams based in Kansas City, Missouri. So it’s no surprise many residents are eager for Kansas sports betting to be legalized after several years of intense debate.
2020 stalled legalization efforts for some time. But a pair of new bills have arrived in the Kansas House and Senate, and both are relatively well supported by lawmakers. Although there’s a little opposition from the governor, it’s clear that legal sports betting is on the horizon.
To that end, let’s break down everything there is to know about sports betting in Kansas, including recent legislative developments and proposed regulations. We’ll also go over how you can register for a sportsbook when they finally launch in this state.
Kansas Sports Betting Recent Updates
There’s good news for Kansas sports betting enthusiasts: it looks like sports betting legalization will come sooner rather than later. This comes after a relatively dry period where little legislative progress was made.
The Supreme Court struck down PASPA in 2018. But it took until early 2020, right around when COVID-19 was spreading through the US, for Kansas’s Senate to pass a bill that legalized sports betting at the four retail casinos scattered throughout the territory. This even occurred despite opposition from Gov. Laura Kelly, who expressed a desire to avoid legalizing sports betting.
COVID-19 derailed this progress, however, and resulted in the sports betting bills in the House being tabled.
Fortunately, January 27 of 2021 saw SB 84 and a companion bill called HB 2199 presented to both chambers of Kansas’s legislature. These would expand the state’s lottery commission to oversee Kansas sports betting as well. This marked a return to serious discussions about sports betting legalization.
According to both versions of the bill, casinos in the state (which are already regulated by the lottery) will be able to open a retail sportsbook and partner with up to three additional mobile sports betting platforms. Therefore, Kansas sports betting enthusiasts might be lucky enough to enjoy well over a dozen mobile sportsbooks sometime over the next couple of years.
The bills also stipulate additional regulations and tax rules, such as a 7.5% tax on all wagers received in person and a 10% tax for any online wagers. Furthermore, every sportsbook will need to pay a $250,000 application fee if they want a license.
Interestingly, Kansas may buck the trend of legal states outlawing collegiate sports betting. The current sports betting legislation on the table stipulates has no restrictions on wagers for college games or even in-state teams. This may improve the state’s sports betting revenue significantly, as both the Kansas Jayhawks and Kansas State Wildcats (two major collegiate teams in the area) have major fan followings.
Top Sports Betting Sites Coming To Kansas
It’s tough to tell what sports betting sites will come to Kansas if and when sports betting is finally legalized. But we can make some educated guesses based on those operators who are already in Kansas and the activities of operators in other legal states.
Some sportsbook operators already have partnerships with Kansas casinos, making them likely candidates to receive licensure faster than other competitors. For example, PointsBet has a partnership with the Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel as of 2020. Meanwhile, the Kansas Star Casino is run by Boyd Gaming, which is a partner company to FanDuel (one of the largest and most well-established sportsbook operators in the industry).
But other major sportsbook players will also likely try for licensure soon. These include DraftKings, which is possibly the largest sportsbook in the mobile industry, as well as one of the most well-known and popular. But we may also see sportsbooks like BetRivers, BetMGM, and William Hill depending on how eager they are to dip into the as of yet untapped Kansas sports betting market.
How To Place A Bet In Kansas
Because Kansas’s proposed sports betting legislation will likely require sportsbooks to partner with one of the state’s four retail casinos, players may also be required to complete the registration process in person as opposed to entirely online. Some states, such as Illinois, already do this.
Let’s break down the registration and wagering process so you’re prepared to place bets as soon as sports betting launches.
Download A Sportsbook
Naturally, you’ll first need to download the sportsbook of your choice. If you have an iPhone, you’ll be able to visit the App Store and download the app immediately and easily. The process is similar for Android, in light of the Google Play store’s recent revision of its policy banning gambling apps.
After downloading the app, your device will also receive some geolocation tracking software. This will prevent you from placing a wager outside of Kansas’s state lines. While geolocation software has not been finalized as a legalization necessity, every other legal sports betting state does require this caveat.
Register For Your Sportsbook
After downloading the sportsbook of your choice, you’ll need to register and create an account. You can do this by providing some personal information, such as your Social Security number and physical address.
If Kansas decides to allow mobile-only registration, this should only take a few minutes and you’ll be able to move on to the next step of the process afterward. But if Kansas requires you to complete the registration process in-person, you’ll need to stop by the casino partnered with your sportsbook so they can verify your identity.
Fund Your Account
After registering your account, you’ll need to fund it so you can place wagers. Most popular sportsbooks offer a variety of deposit methods. For example, you’ll be able to use a credit or debit card to give your account wagering cash quickly and easily. Or you can connect a bank account to your sportsbook account and fund your sports wagering that way.
You may also be able to use an electronic wallet such as PayPal instead. It all depends on the sportsbook you choose to download. When you fund your account, be sure to take any opening bonuses into account as well. Some sportsbooks, such as DraftKings, provide a deposit match bonus that rewards you with extra site credit if you make a larger initial deposit.
But you should also be aware that many sportsbook opening bonuses have certain terms and conditions that can surprise you if you don’t know what they say. For example, some opening bonuses require you to input a special code within seven days or so after opening your account. Otherwise, the bonus can no longer be claimed.
Other bonuses may have caveats that require you to place certain wagers or make bets with particular odds, such as -150 or more. It always pays to read the terms and conditions for a sportsbook opening bonus so you can get the promotion’s full value instead of missing out.
You’re finished! Registering and funding your account is all you need to place bets right away. Most sportsbooks will provide navigational tools to let you find the wager, game, or betting line you want to check out ASAP.
Plus, many sportsbooks include special promotions or game day bonuses if you sign up during a certain season. For example, signing up at the beginning of baseball season may allow you to benefit from special baseball promotions. Signing up before March Madness for basketball will let you get in on the ground floor for long-term futures wagers and more.
Kansas Legal Sportsbooks
Many Kansas residents enjoy sports as a major part of the state’s culture. But even though sports betting is something you may want to do soon, you should wait until legal sportsbooks to launch, even if it takes another several monthes for the industry to get going.
That’s because illegal betting sites are never worth your time and money. They have terrible digital security and your personal information may easily be at risk for theft or misuse. Identity theft is more common than ever, so it’s something you should certainly consider.
Furthermore, offshore and illegal books don’t usually have great odds or robust wagering experiences. By spending your money on an illegal book, you’ll be wasting your cash and getting a subpar sports wagering experience at the same time.
Legalized and licensed sportsbooks are a much better choice. They come with high-tier digital security to protect your personal information and any funds you provide to your account. But they will also be regulated by a body like the Kansas Lottery, which can make sure they never steal your funds or act immorally.
Kansas Sports Betting Revenue
Because Kansas doesn’t have a sports betting industry to speak of, it’s tough to know the revenue that the state government might get once the industry launches. Furthermore, Kansas has a population of a little under 3 million people. So even when sports betting is legalized, the resulting industry will not be as profitable or booming as a state like Nevada’s.
That being said, some estimate that legalizing sports betting and expanding racing gambling options for Kansas residents could result in annual profits of close to $1 billion. In addition, we can look at neighboring Missouri’s sports betting revenue for a good guess as to the kinds of tax profits the state government may enjoy over the next couple of years.
For example, Missouri’s sports betting industry generated nearly $1 million in November 2020 alone and they have a small market with no real commercial online betting. That’s small potatoes for many more populated states, but it’s certainly a good chunk of cash for Kansas and its smaller state government.
Ultimately, the state government will likely enjoy more revenue as more sportsbooks enter the state and more people try placing their first sports wagers.
Kansas is a middling state when it comes to general gambling freedom and opportunities. For example, it has four casinos that are regulated by the Kansas Lottery, plus another five casinos that run on tribal lands. Kansas residents have multiple places in which to enjoy games like poker, blackjack, and slot machines.
Furthermore, Kansas includes horse and dog racing in certain counties where voters directly approved those kinds of wagers. Slots and video poker can be found at various approved casinos. The state also allows daily fantasy sports, and big operators like DraftKings and FanDuel are already in a position to launch sports betting when that activity is finally legalized.
However, there’s no denying that Kansas has stalled when it comes to legalizing sports betting. This is in part due to the reluctance of Gov. Laura Kelly, who has not been particularly supportive of those legislators who have pushed for legalization since 2018.
The tide has recently turned in favor of sports betting legalization, though. It’s very likely, due to the popularity of proposed Senate and House bills, that sports betting will become a fully legalized activity in retail and online formats by the end of 2021.
Since there are plenty of operators already partnered with casinos or otherwise position for a fast launch, sports bettors may very well be able to place bets in a few short months.
Kansas Betting Successes And Failures
Kansas Sports Betting Success
The biggest prospective sports betting success Kansas can lay claim to is the possibility of allowing collegiate sports betting. Many other states have outright banned collegiate sports betting, preventing sports bettors from placing wagers on any college games throughout the country.
Even states that allow collegiate sports betting, such as Pennsylvania, often include provisions that prevent players from placing wagers on in-state games regardless of teams or any out-of-state games that include a native team. This severely limits the revenue that the industry can produce and is generally disliked by fans of college sports teams.
Kansas’s proposed sports betting legislation has not included any bans on collegiate sports betting so far. This may change in the future, but it seems more likely that Kansas residents will be able to place bets on their favorite college teams the same way they can place wagers on professional sports leagues and teams.
Where Kansas Could Improve Online Gambling
Although Kansas residents have a wide variety of gambling activities to check out, the state’s online gambling industry could still be a little better. For example, online casinos and poker are still illegal, and gaming enthusiasts would undoubtedly like to see these operations expanded in the future.
However, it’s unlikely that this evolution will come to pass in the near future due to resistance from the Native American casinos in the state. The Native American casinos hold most of the slots and video poker activities, so they’d likely be reluctant to open up these activities to the online sphere as it may result in lost revenue for them.
It will take much more discussion and compromise to expand other types of online gaming in this state.
Legalization Effort In Kansas
The sports betting legalization effort in Kansas actually began in early 2020, when the state Senate passed a bill that legalized sports betting at four commercial casinos. This is an interesting development since most other states with legal sports betting allow the activity to take place at Native American casinos.
But Kansas did things the opposite way. Under the current proposed legislation, only the commercial casinos overseen by the Kansas Lottery would have the ability to partner with sportsbook operators and provide wagers for players across the state.
COVID-19 significantly stalled legalization efforts and required legislators to focus on other concerns for most of 2020. Fortunately, the beginning of 2021 saw a renewed discussion about sports betting legalization.
Although SB 84 has not yet been passed in the Senate and HB 2199 has not been passed in the House, both versions of the bill have significant support from both Kansas residents and from lawmakers.
Even Gov. Laura Kelly seems to be slowly changing her tune regarding legalization. But there are likely enough votes in both houses of the Kansas state legislature that they could overrule the governor if necessary and pass sports betting even if she does not support it.
Both chambers of Kansas’s legislature may vote on the bills over the next month or so. That could mean that sports betting may be legalized as early as the summer of 2021, with a full launch in the fall of 2021 if the infrastructure and regulations are created quickly.
Timeline Of Kansas Sports Betting
- 2007 – Kansas passes the Expanded Lottery Act, which allows the construction of four retail casinos on non-Native American land
- 2020 – The Kansas Senate passes a bill that legalized sports betting only at the state’s four commercial casinos rather than the Native American casinos
- Jan 27, 2021 – SB 84 was introduced, as was HB 2199. Both bills followed the earlier recommendation that the state lottery oversee the future sports betting industry
- Feb 2021 – The state House and Senate both oversee hearings regarding the positives and negatives of both sports betting bills
Kansas Professional Sports Teams
That being said, the state does have an MLS or soccer franchise called the Sporting Kansas City. Furthermore, many Kansas residents love to support professional teams that play games in Missouri, a neighboring state. Interestingly, many Kansas sports fans love to support the Kansas City, Missouri Chiefs, a major NFL team.
Any sportsbooks that appear in Kansas will undoubtedly have excellent betting markets and lines for these teams and more. So if you live in Kansas and like to support out-of-state teams, don’t worry. You’ll be able to place as many wagers as you like for your favorites.
Kansas College Sports Teams
Kansas does have a slightly more developed collegiate sports team collection (which may explain why the proposed legislation does not seek to ban collegiate betting). For example, the Kansas Jayhawks are a very popular basketball team, particularly for March Madness bets and predictions.
The Kansas State Wildcats are another popular college basketball team, as are the Wichita State Shockers. Basketball overall seems to be the most popular collegiate sport in this state, although football and baseball also solid fan favorites.
As mentioned, Kansas may very well allow collegiate betting, which will make its sports betting industry one of the most relaxed and liberal in the country.
Other Sports To Bet On In Kansas
In addition to major sports described above, any future sportsbooks in Kansas will provide wagering opportunities for other sports activities, including MMA and UFC fighting, NASCAR and other motor racing, and more niche events like darts.
Plus, many Kansas sports bettors already like to place off-track bets for horse and dog races. There aren’t any OTB parlors in the state, so players are currently restricted to horse and dog racing apps like TVG. Fortunately, many of the best sportsbooks also let you place wagers for horse or dog races, so you won’t necessarily need to use two separate apps to place all the bets you like.
Kansas Sports Betting FAQs
Not yet, but it likely will be soon given the support in both chambers of the state legislature. The House and Senate are both likely to pass sports betting legalization bills in the short-term future.
Not yet. But the proposed sports betting legislation does not include a ban on collegiate sports betting in any capacity. So future sports bettors in this state may be able to place bets on in-state games and home collegiate teams.
Any future sportsbook operators will be regulated by the Kansas Lottery, which will oversee their partnered retail casino locations as well.
Yes. The specifics have not been announced, but it is almost certain that Kansas will require any legal sports bettors to live in Kansas and only use their apps within state lines. Geolocation software will be installed automatically alongside any mobile sportsbook to prevent you from placing a wager outside the state.
Yes, and so is DraftKings, so long as you mean daily fantasy sports. This activity operates in a legal gray area and both operators provide DFS to Kansas residents. But this is good news for future sports bettors as both apps will likely be able to launch quickly once legalization is cemented.
Once sports betting finally launches, you’ll be able to place online wagers for a wide variety of sports activities and industries. These include football, baseball, basketball, soccer, and much more. You’ll only be limited by the betting markets provided by the sportsbook of your choice.