While there are many betting options in the state of Kansas, sports betting is not one of them. Sports betting is 100% illegal in Kansas, and even though there are several casinos in the state, there are not any sportsbooks associated with them.
However, it may not be long until laying wagers on sports is legal in the Sunflower State. The reason for that is because in May of 2018 the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned by the U.S Supreme Court, and in terms of sports betting the ruling was huge.
It allowed for sports betting to be legal on a state-by-state basis, which meant the states would have to enact the laws to legalize sports betting, which several have already done. Kansas has not been one of the states to legalize sports betting, but residents of the state laying sports wagers may not have to wait long until they can do so in a legal manner.
At a Glance
Status of Sports Betting: As of mid-June 2019, there is no form of sports betting that is legal in the state of Kansas.
Where to Bet : With sports betting not being legal in Kansas, there are no places to lay bets. There are illegal bookies in the state as well as many online sportsbooks. However, these are illegal in the state.
Teams: In terms of pro sports, the three main ones in Kansas are the Kansas City Chiefs (NFL), Kansas City Royals (MLB), and Sporting Kansas City (MLS). Kansas City is on the border with Missouri, and the Chiefs and Royals play their home games in stadiums in Missouri while Sporting Kansas City play their home games in Kansas. In the college game, the big schools with major athletic programs in Division 1 are Kansas, Kansas State, and Wichita State.
Status of Sports Betting
As stated before, there is no legal way to bet on sports in the state of Kansas as of mid-June 2019. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned in May of 2018, and while that allowed sports betting to be legal on a state-by-state basis and several states have already legalized it, Kansas is not one of them. Sports betting has never been legal in the state, but with all the funds that the state will get from legalized sports betting it is only a matter of time before it will be legal.
Legalized sports betting has been a hot topic in Kansas since the PASPA was overturned. While there have been five bills introduced to pave the way for legal sports betting in the state, none have gotten to the floor to be voted on by the state’s lawmakers. The most recent was in January of 2019.
One of the main issues in Kansas when it comes to sports betting is who would run it. The casinos want to do so considering a study came up with a rough estimate that legalizing sports betting would bring in $1 billion in bets made annually. That is a lot of money, and the casinos and the state want the big piece of that. In the bills that have been drafted, the sports betting in the state would be run by the state lottery and there would be mobile applications available where the state would take a cut of every wager. If $1 billion in bets is made, the state would stand to gain about $50 million a year. If the casinos ran the sports betting in Kansas, the state government would only get the taxes and they would only get a few million dollars. The state could also run the sports betting industry through the casinos.
The casinos and state government both want to legalize sports betting, but they have not yet come up with a compromise to who will run it. Kansas Rep. John Barker stated, “Trying to get them all on the same sheet of music just takes time.” State Gov Laura Kelly, who is for legalized sports betting, also stated, “I’m hoping that they can come to an agreement on sports betting. Other states are moving ahead with that and I would really hate for Kansas to be left behind.”
One of the main issues in the legalization of sports betting in Kansas has been the fee that professional sports leagues want to have. The leagues, such as MLB and NBA, want a fee from the states, as they believe with legal sports wagering they will need more money to further police the sport to keep cheating out of the game. They believe it will be much easier for players to do things like shave points and such if betting was legal. Both Kansas lawmakers and the casinos in the state are opposed to paying the fee, which is not surprising, as it would cut into the profits they would receive from legal sports betting.
Where to Bet Sports
With sports betting being illegal in Kansas there are no places to legally lay a sports wager. This is the case even at the nine casinos in the state. However, when sports betting does become legal—and it is not a matter of if, but when—then the casinos are the likely places where you can bet in Kansas.
Kansas on ESPN’s “Moving toward legislation” List
ESPN is the leading sports outlet in the United States, and they have been on top of the legalization of sports betting with all of their coverage of the issue. In May of 2019 they had an article titled “United States of Sports Betting: An Updated Map of Where Every State Stands.” They had information regarding sports betting for all of the 50 states and how that state stood on the legalization of sports betting within the state. Kansas was one of the states on the “moving toward legislation” list of states.
“Integrity Bill” Drafted, But Hearing to Date
In January of 2019, the Kansas State drafted bill SB 23, which would have an “integrity fee” for all sports bets in Kansas. Integrity fees have been a hot topic. The argument has been between the professional sports leagues and lawmakers in Kansas, who do not want to pay the fee or have it very small. However, SB 23 was drafted, and the professional leagues would receive 0.25% of bets made on sports in the state and would also make it so “official league data” would be mandated to be used. Also, sports betting in Kansas would only be done through the official state lottery, and there is a similar bill in the house regarding these issues as well.
Two January Bills have Language Addressing Problem Gambling
In the two bills that were introduced to the Kansas House and Senate most of the language dealt with the legalization of online gambling. There has been wrangling about who would control the sports betting and where the profits would go. However, in both bills it has been introduced that 2% of the revenue from sports betting in Kansas, as well as from the state lottery and racetracks, go to programs that deal with problem gambling.
Sports Teams That Drive Betting
In terms of the teams that drive betting in the state of Kansas, there are a few in the professional and collegiate ranks. The two biggest sports teams in the state are based out of Kansas City: the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals. MLS’s Sporting Kansas City is the only major pro league that is based in Kansas. In the college ranks, the D1 teams that drive betting are Kansas, Kansas State, and Wichita State.
The Kansas City Chiefs are an NFL franchise that has had a lot of success—and that is especially the case as of late. They advanced to the 2019 AFC Championship game, where they lost to the eventual champion New England Patriots. They have a rabid fan base, and that is not surprising since they are the only team located in the middle of America. They play at Arrowhead Stadium, which is in Kansas City on the Missouri side.
Like the Chiefs, the Kansas City Royals are a hot ticket and also play their home games in Kansas City, Missouri in Kaufman Stadium. They won the 2015 World Series and have two titles in their history. The team has a rich history; one of the more famous Fall Classics was the I-70 World Series where they faced off with the St. Louis Cardinals and won in seven games.
Kansas State, Kansas, and Wichita State are the only Division 1 schools in Kansas. Kansas State and Kansas both play in the Big 12, and they both have major football and basketball programs. Wichita State plays in the American Athletic Conference and is mainly known for their basketball program. Kansas is one of the premier teams in college basketball, and they have won three National Championships, with the last coming in 2008.
Sporting Kansas City is the MLS franchise in the state of Kansas, and they were one of the charter teams established in 1996. They have won the MLS CUP twice, with the last win in 2013.
Legal Status for Kansas
- Casino Legal Status – There are nine casinos in the state of Kansas, and five of them are Native American casinos.
- Sports Betting Legal Status – As if mid-June 2019 no form of sports betting in the state of Kansas
- Horse Racing Legal Status – Horse racing is legal in Kansas and pari-mutuel wagering was legalized in 1986.
- Poker Legal Status – Poker in Kansas is legal and there are tables at the casinos around the state.
- DFS Legal Status – Fantasy sports is legal in the state of Kansas since 2015.
- Lottery Legal Status – There is a state lottery in Kansas
Sports Betting Timeline
- 2019 – Newest bills introduced to Kansas Senate and House to legalize sports betting
- 2018 – Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned
- 2007 – Kansas Expanded Lottery Act passed allowing Kansas to own and operate four casinos with slot machines and racing
- 1996 – First casino in Kansas opens