It appears the federally recognized Indian tribes in the state will have the opportunity to add online Kansas sportsbooks to their assortment of gaming options later this year.
During last week’s ceremonial bill signing of SB 84, which legalized online and retail sports betting, Gov. Laura Kelly told reporters tribes in the state are free to renegotiate their gaming compacts. Those compacts are signed with the U.S. Department of the Interior.
“We need to modify their compacts, so that process is proceeding now,” Kelly said.
The first-term Democratic governor also called SB 84 a game-changer for sports teams, casinos, and tribes, as it allows them to keep betting money in the state.
“Soon, sporting events, casinos, restaurants, and other entertainment venues will have another way to attract Kansans to their establishments,” Kelly said in a press release. “Legalizing sports betting is a common-sense solution that will keep Kansans’ money in Kansas. It’s one more way my Administration is working to make Kansas the most pro-business, pro-growth state in the country.”
Who Could Add Sports Betting in Kansas?
Besides the state’s lone professional sports team (MLS side Sporting Kansas City), it appears likely most, if not all, of the six tribal casinos in the state could go for a retail or online sports betting license.
During the Kansas legislature’s hearings on SB 84 in March, tribal casinos didn’t speak on behalf of the bill. Proponents of the bill included personnel from Penn National Gaming (which owns Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway), and additional commentary from Boyd Gaming, Boot Hill Casino & Resort, and Kansas Crossing Casino & Hotel — representatives of the four state-owned casinos.
During her bill-signing event, Kelly highlighted the fact SB 84 would allow the state’s tribes to flourish alongside their state-owned casino counterparts, as they’d be able to add wagering to their assortment of gaming activities.
“SB 84 allows venues such as restaurants and nonprofit fraternal or veterans organizations to hold sports wagering,” Kelly said in the press release. “The bill also preserves tribal sovereignty, allowing the negotiation of a new or existing gaming compact regarding sports wagering.”
It seems likely most, if not all, of the tribal casinos in Kansas could apply for a sports betting license. Kansas’ tribal casinos are:
- 7th Street Casino (Kansas City)
- Casino White Cloud (White Cloud)
- Crosswinds Casino (Park City)
- Golden Eagle Casino (Horton)
- Prairie Band Casino (Mayetta)
- Sac & Fox Casino (Powhattan)
None of the six tribal casino facilities responded to BetKansas.com’s interview requests.