Published: May 5, 2022

Kansas lawmakers move to make sports betting legal; bill awaits governor's signature

Kansas Lottery estimates it'll see about $10 million come into the state by 2025

Kansas City 610 Radio's Alex Gold is a proud supporter of sports betting. It took years and one very late night but the Sunflower State is poised to become the 34th state to allow sports betting. A bill is now sitting on Gov. Laura Kelly's desk to be signed into law.

"I've driven up to Iowa before to bet on sports," he said Friday morning. "During the March Madness run, people were driving up to Iowa to bet on sports there, and spend money in other states."

Soon, he and other game gamblers won't have to. If the sports betting bill is signed into law, Kansas would get 10% of every bet made in the state. That could be over the phone or in person. Already, Kansas has the state lottery and casinos.

"What I've always believed about sports wagering is it allows customers to be interactive with the sports that's going on," Rick Skinner said.

Skinner is the Vice President and General Manager for Hollywood Casino in KCK near the Legends.

Skinner doesn't think his casino will see a huge bump in bets — and certainly not their bottom line. But he thinks a revamped section of Hollywood Casino will bring a whole new experience to sports bettors. The Epic Buffet, which closed down during COVID-19, is poised to become a destination, and experience, for those who want to place their sports bets in Kansas.

The Kansas Lottery estimates it'll see about $10 million come into the state by 2025.

"You know," Gold said. "Those estimates could actually go considerably in Year Number One for sports betting — if people on the Kansas City, Mo. side are coming over to the Kansas side to wager on sports."

If the governor signs this into law, sports wagering could start Sept. 1 in the state of Kansas.

Missouri's move for sports betting stalled this week. It is surrounded by states that have legalized sports betting: Iowa, Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas and now Kansas.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas took to Twitter Friday morning to ask the Missouri Legislature to pass a sports betting deal. In a series of tweets, he said it would provide revenue for teams, businesses and state tax coffers.

He added, "we will, once again, lose revenue and people to Kansas."

© Public Gaming Research Institute. All rights reserved.