Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Kansas?
Although sports betting is not yet legal in Kansas, there are lots of good reasons to be optimistic about that changing soon.
Compared to some of its neighboring mid-western American states, Kansas has fairly progressive views on gambling. With several land-based casinos, legal pari-mutuel wagering, a state lottery with multiple games as well as numerous charitable gaming options, residents of the Sunflower state can already scratch their gambling itch in a variety of ways.
In the wake of the landmark US Supreme Court decision of 2018 that effectively ended a country-wide ban on sports gambling, Kansas has not joined the growing list of states that have already legalized sports betting, however.
That said, some Kansas lawmakers have already touched on the topic of sports gambling legislation and are eagerly awaiting an early 2019 legislative counsel meeting to start proposing options. We’ve heard plans to make sports betting available at casinos, in local establishments and even on mobile devices. More on that later in this guide.
On this page we’ll take a close look at the current laws around sports betting in Kansas and we’ll also run down the state’s history when it comes to gambling to give you some context.
We’ll touch on whether it’s legal to bet on daily fantasy sports (DFS) in Kansas and finally we’ll make a few predictions about what to expect for the future of sports betting in the state.
If you’re curious about where in the US it’s legal to bet on sports, browse our state by state guides.
The Current Online Sports Betting Situation in Kansas
It is not currently legal to bet on sports in Kansas but it may become legal in the not too distant future.
In May of 2018 the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of an appeal of a law that prohibited sports gambling across all of America save for Nevada. The law, called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), was first introduced in 1992 and restricted sports betting across the country for more than a quarter-century.
Now that PASPA is out of the picture, each state now has the ability to decide for itself if it wants legal sports betting and if so, what form that will take.
Compared to other states in the area, Kansas was way ahead of the curve. As recently as January of 2018 state lawmakers proposed a bill to have the state lottery control and operate legalized sports gambling.
The new law would be an extension of a previous law which classified sports betting as any activity of "one or more competitive games in which amateur or professional athletes participate, or are intended to participate, or on one or more performances of such athletes in such games."
This proposal, which came before an official ruling on PASPA, had some traction in the legislature but was shelved in order to wait and see how the Supreme Court would decide. Kansas can now observe how other states do with legalization, learn from their mistakes and be ready to move forward with its own laws if and when it’s ready.
Considering the massive revenue numbers we’re already seeing from other states that have embraced legalization, we’re optimistic that Kansas will get the ball rolling in 2019.
Leading that charge is Dodge City Republican Senator Bob Estes who said in December of 2018 that lawmakers should collaborate with casino industry and major sports league representatives, among others, to create a framework for a legal sports betting industry in Kansas.
The History of Online Sports Betting in Kansas
Like we mentioned before, Kansas lawmakers and citizens are open to different forms of gambling. There are already casinos and lots of other ways to make wagers. That said, the state has historically been a bit sluggish when it comes to making changes regarding gambling.
In 2011, for example, after the US Department of Justice declared an opportunity for any state that wishes to shall be able to institute legalized online gambling and pokers sites, Kansas state lobbyists and residents discussed but failed to take action.
The same “all talk, no action” reputation is still pervasive nearly eight years later.
The promising news is that even the states who prefer a slower approach to legalization can watch and observe the efforts of their fellow states that are already taking the plunge. The most influencing statistic will be the revenue numbers from taxation in those states.
When asked to estimate a value for potential tax revenue in Kansas, state representative Jan Kessinger said, "It could generate about $75 million once we get it up and running. That’s $75 million to the state where they could add it to education, put it to the highway fund. We could fix the foster care system. A lot of things we could do with that."
Numbers that large can speak loudly when the idea of legalized sports betting is proposed in state government in 2019.
What Is the Future of Online Sports Betting in Kansas?
The most optimistic timeline puts legal sports betting within reach sometime in the second half of 2019. A more conservative prediction would set that target further in the future but would still bet on legalized gambling coming to Kansas in the not-too-distant future.
Politicians like Senator Bud Estes have already announced their intentions of pursuing legal sports betting as soon as possible and with revenue projections sky-high it’s likely they’ll be successful.
The good news is that the talks have taken place in the past and they are scheduled to take place again in January. Whether or not that bears any fruit remains to be seen. When news does come down the pipe we will be here reporting every step of the way.
The casino industry in Kansas is split between tribal and non-tribal casinos. The talks we’ve heard so far have focused on key questions like whether sports betting will be limited to casinos, or will include bars and other venues as well. Also on the table is the question of online and mobile sports betting in Kansas.
The most likely scenario would see sports betting integrated with the casinos that are already doing business. This is the most common approach taken by other states so far.
Kansas casinos where you might see legal sports betting include:
- 7th Street Casino
- Booth Hill Casino
- Casino White Cloud
- Golden Eagle Casino
- Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway
- Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel
- Kansas Star Casino
- Prairie Band Casino and Resort
- Sac and Fox Casino
Will Online Sports Betting Ever Be Legal in Kansas?
One of the biggest factors in sports gambling getting legalized in Kansas comes down to money. The bigger the potential revenue, the more likely it will happen fast. The good news is that the numbers coming in from other states that have already legalized it are staggering.
Any success Kansas politicians can present from their statewide counterparts will serve as fuel to their side’s fire in the debate and in the media.
Furthemore, a potential positive ruling on this law will be dependent on how Kansas decides to approach their relationship with the NCAA. If the majority consensus believes that sports gambling could undermine the ethics of their collegiate sports, that could be a hurdle for legalization.
After considering all the evidence, our best guess is that online sports betting will be legal in Kansas and that it will happen within the next two years at most.
Which Online Sports Betting Sites are Legal in Kansas?
Since sports betting is not legal in Kansas there aren’t any online sportsbooks or sites open yet. We hope this will become old news soon, however, especially as some state representatives are optimistic that they will be taking legal sports bets in Kansas as early as next summer.
The best case scenario would see online and mobile betting options as well as in-person sportsbooks operating out of land-based casinos.
Should we reach that point, gamblers in Kansas can expect to be able to wager online on all major North American sports as well as major international leagues, college sports and even minor leagues too.
As a state with no pro sports teams, Kansans will most likely be eager to support and financially defend their beloved Jayhawks across the collegiate sports gamut, but with an emphasis on NCAA basketball, of course.
Is Betting on Fantasy Sports Legal in Kansas?
Finally. On the matter of DFS betting we can give you a completely affirmative answer. Thanks to a favorable federal ruling in 2006 that deemed daily fantasy sports (DFS) to be based on skill rather than luck, several states including Kansas have opened their doors to legalized fantasy sports.
Fantasy sports is a great way to get into sports betting and since the industry is overseen by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and the US Gaming Commission, it’s a really safe and secure too.
Is There No Deposit Sports Betting in Kansas?
Since Kansas hasn’t legalized sports gambling yet, there are no promotional offers to tell you about.
If things change, however, we expect online sportsbooks to offer lots of deals and promotions, including free bets and no-deposit bonuses.
Online Sports Betting in Kansas Coming Soon?
Essentially Kansans right now are in wait and see mode. Talks in 2019 will be vital and it will be important for lawmakers in favor of legalized sports gambling to present both current numbers from other states as well as realistic prodictions for their own state.
In addition to the revenue Kansas can expect from taxing sports gambling, the state also needs to be aware of potential local money leaving the state via residents who are willing to drive over state lines to place legal bets elsewhere.
Fingers are crossed that we see Kansas, as well as more of its neighboring mid-western counterparts, join the smart money and allow residents to enjoy gambling legally and responsibly in their own homes and in their own state.
Check back on this page for major developments that affect Kansas’s chances of getting legal sports betting.