Sports betting could soon be coming to the state of Kansas as the state senate took an important step earlier this week. The Kansas Senate voted in favor of SB 84 by a vote of 26-12, sending the bill to the House.
Senate Bill 84 was not introduced until late January and has moved quickly through the legislature up to this point. Sports betting could be offered at lottery gaming facilities if this bill passes through the House, and it would change the current Kansas Expanded Lottery Act.
If this bill is eventually signed into law by Governor Laura Kelly, then it could lead to Kansas becoming a large market. Along with retail betting being offered at lottery retailers in the state, online sports betting would also be an option.
There are four casinos currently in operation in the state of Kansas, and these properties would also be eligible to offer a retail sportsbook on-site. These casinos would also be given three online sports betting skins, allowing them to partner with online sportsbooks.
In-person betting will not be allowed at the Kansas Speedway or Children’s Mercy Park, but those properties would be eligible to partner with a casino. This could create a number of options for Kansas sports bettors, allowing the state to launch the industry and required surrounding infrastructure very quickly.
Big Names Expected to Launch
Both FanDuel and Draftkings publicly supported the approval of Senate Bill 84, and they helped sway lawmakers into voting for the legislation. Both companies are expected to seek a sports betting license in the state and will likely be two of the first sportsbooks to launch when it becomes a possibility.
PointsBet will also be one of the first to launch in the state, and they have already reached a deal to gain market access. PointsBet announced an agreement with the Kansas Crossing Casino in January 2020, and they will be working in the background to prepare for a launch.
Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk
Professional sports are expected to drive sports betting in the state of Kansas, as that has been the trend throughout the United States. This state will also get a boost from the local college teams, most notably, the Kansas Jayhawks who also announced their support.
SB 84 allows for betting on collegiate events, and sportsbooks would be wise to feature the Jayhawks, especially during college basketball season. A number of states prohibit betting on in-state college teams, but that is not expected to be the case in Kansas.
Competition Could Be Coming
Kansas is bordered by the state of Colorado, one of the fastest-growing sports betting markets in the United States. Outside of Colorado, there aren’t many sports betting options in that part of the United States.
That is expected to change over the next 24 months as states such as Nebraska, Missouri, and Oklahoma are also exploring the possibility of legalizing sports betting. This will put some additional pressure on lawmakers in Kansas to get something done quickly in an effort to get things up and running first.