Kansas Senate Passes Bill To Legalize Online Sports Betting

Senate Bill 84 (SB 84), introduced in the Kansas State Legislature on January 27, 2021, passed the State Senate today, March 8, 2021. The bill would amend the Kansas Expanded Lottery Act (KELA) to allow retail and online sports wagering.

The sponsor of the bill is the Committee on Federal and State Affairs, which is chaired by State Sen. Larry Alley. While the Kansas House will now have to pass SB 84, Sen. Alley said: “I think they’ve hammered out most of the big decisions.” 

Those words are a promising sign for smooth sailing ahead.

Governor Laura Kelly’s signature is also needed for approval, but she has been a proponent of legal online sports betting in Kansas since 2019. Amendments that include allocating tax revenue for addictive gambling initiatives—as well as a ban on greyhound racing wagers—have made Governor Kelly’s signature all but certain.

Kansas Sports Betting Finally Around The Corner

Last year, a popular Kansas sports betting bill lost its momentum due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The new bill, SB 83, was introduced in February 2021, and it has quickly made its way through the amendments and approval processes.

Barring any additional amendments, SB 84 would mean retail sportsbooks would be taxed at 8% of revenue and retail sportsbooks at 5.5%. An additional 2% of all sports wagers would go toward combating problem gambling, bringing the tax rates up to 10% and 7.5% for online and retail sports betting, respectively.

Operators will also be able to launch three online sports betting products each, known as “skins.” While some states greatly limit the number of possible online sportsbooks, SB 84 could open the door to many Kansas options.

The Kansas Lottery estimates that the state has the potential to generate over $3.5 million in tax revenue through legalized sports betting.

What Legal Sportsbooks Can You Expect?

Assuming the bill passes, the Kansas Lottery will determine rules and regulations and begin accepting applications. You can expect the biggest and best legal sports betting sites and apps to apply for market access.

But even before the application process, three brands are near-certain entrees to the legal Kansas sports betting market:

Boyd Gaming, a company that partnered with FanDuel to offer online gaming in the US, owns Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, which means FanDuel will be among the first legal operators in the state. 

PointsBet partnered with Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel in January 2020 to gain preemptive market access as well.

Penn National Gaming owns Barstool Sportsbook as well as Hollywood Casino in Kansas City. This gives Penn National faster market access to Kansas as well. 

While Hollywood Casino has its own branded iGaming products in Pennsylvania, Penn National will most likely launch Barstool Sportsbook as its Kansas product.

Other online sportsbooks you can expect to launch in a legal Kansas market include DraftKings Sportsbook, BetRivers, William Hill, and BetMGM, all of which are legal in the nearby Midwest states of Illinois (minus BetMGM), Iowa, Indiana, and Michigan.

About the Author
Mike Epifani

Mike Epifani

Writer and Contributor
Mike Epifani is a gambling expert and professional writer. His current role is Brand Content Manager at Bonus.com, part of the Catena Media network. Mike spoke on the affiliate marketing panel at G2E 2022 in Las Vegas and won "Casino Affiliate of the Year" at the 2022 SBC Awards North America in NYC.

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