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Kansas Governor to Sign Sports Betting Bill Into Law

Kansas Governor to Sign Sports Betting Bill Into Law article feature image
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Andy Hancock/NCAA Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Kansas Jayhawks mascot.

Sports betting apps are officially coming to Kansas.

Gov. Laura Kelly (D) announced Wednesday she will sign a bill passed by the legislature that legalizes in-person casino betting and allows up to 12 online sportsbooks. That would make Kansas the 35th state to legalize sports betting.

Gaming lobbyists expect to go live with online betting by late August, just in time for the NFL season.

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The Wait is Over

Kelly’s office has been silent since the House and Senate approved the bill two weeks ago, leaving many to wonder if she’d use her veto power and kill the bill.

According to a report from KSNT in Topeka she indicated she will sign the sports betting bill, during a press conference for another bill’s signing.

Zach Fletcher, a spokesperson for the Governor has not returned any of Action Network’s requests for comment.

She has until May 16 to officially put pen to paper. Once she does, the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission will begin drafting license applications and rules for operators.

How Kansas Sports Betting Will Look

The bill authorizes four casinos to open retail sportsbooks and partner with up to three online betting operators each to launch mobile apps. Native American tribes can also update their gaming compacts to offer in-person and or online betting.

Casinos may also partner with up to 50 additional retail venues, including professional sports arenas, to install sports betting kiosks.

The MLS’ Sporting Kansas City is the only pro team currently in the state, though most tax revenue from sports betting will go towards changing that.

Operators will pay a 10% tax on gaming revenue, 80% of which goes to a fund to lure professional sports teams to the state with economic incentives.

Sports betting is projected to generate about $10 million annually to the state.

Sports betting must be up and running no later than Jan. 1, 2023, though emergency rules clauses in the bill should provide for an expeditious launch process.

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