Sports betting has become huge in the US, which puts a lot of pressure on the regulators to come up with laws and rules for it that will make the betting industry safe. This form of gambling is rapidly getting legalized one state at a time, and the biggest example of the fact that pressuring the legislator’s works is the current situation in Kansas, US.
The state of Kansas just managed to legalize sports betting on July 1st of this year, although the real gambling industry has not launched as of yet. The legalization took place after many years of debating, trying out different approaches, amending bills, and more. Following the vote that made sports betting legal, Gov. Laura Kelly signed sports betting legislation into law.
Now, regulators have a different kind of work ahead of them, as they are trying to get the online and retail sports betting ecosystems up and running by the fall of this year — just in time for the NFL.
Kansas’ journey to sports betting legalization
The Kansas legislature has been trying to legalize sports betting since before May 2018, when the US Supreme Court overturned PASPA. Back then, the state was among the first ones to even discuss the legalization and regulation of sports betting.
There were three bills that were a major topic of discussion that year, including one that would have authorized a lottery to conduct wagering at lottery retailers and by contracting with gaming and horse racing facilities.
Kansas entered 2019 with many expecting that this will be the year when sports betting will finally be legalized in the state. However, the legislative effort did not manage to get off the ground. The reason for this was actually quite simple — the state officials could not reach an agreement on who will run sports betting.
According to the Kansas Constitution, the state must run all gambling. It already owns all four casinos that are available in the state, but it has partnered with companies that were granted to operate and run the casinos. As for sports betting, the state wanted to charge a 50% tax rate, which drew opposition from the casino companies, and the efforts were seriously damaged.
In 2020, the Senate embraced a more industry-friendly path, finally passing a bill that authorized sports betting at state-owned casinos. The tax structure this time was 7.5% for wagers placed in person and 10% for the ones placed online, which was a lot more acceptable offer. The Senate bill had universal support from the casinos, although it was opposed by non-operating racetracks. Not only that but there were also reports that Gov. Laura Kelly refused to sign the Senate bill.
There were also significant differences between the Senate and the House bill, which wanted to allow sports wagering at up to 1,200 lottery retailers and double the tax rate.
In 2021, the Senate passed a bill 26-12 in March, which expanded the state lottery and allowed each of the four casinos to team up with up to three online brands. The House, however, voted against a substation for the Senate bill 77-40. The vote killed the chances of sports betting going live in Kansas in 2021.
The House bill also included a lottery sportsbook partner, which allowed for up to 1,200 retailers to take sports bets on lottery-approved machines. Each state casino could also partner up with one sportsbook company for online betting.
Finally, 2022 brought several sessions in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, with the House inserting a new language from a compromise bill HB2470 into SB 84 — the bill that passed the Senate only a year earlier. The base of the proposals is the same, as it conducts sports betting through up to three skins from the four casinos within the state. The House, however, added several additional components, and the chambers finally reached an agreement, including the House’s addition of retail partnerships.
Now, regulators expect sports betting to become fully set up at some point during this year’s NFL season. The bill is already in effect, as Gov. Laura Kelly signed the legislation into law effective July 1st, as mentioned earlier. Meanwhile, the local casinos started teaming up with their 3rd-party partners, with Boot Hill Casino announcing a partnership with DraftKings and Bally Bet.
Is sports betting legal in Kansas?
Yes, as of July 1st, 2022, sports betting is officially legal in the state of Kansas. It is worth noting that there are no legal online or retail sportsbooks in the state right now, but the plan is for the four state-owned casinos to operate retail sportsbooks and partnerships with up to three online sites each.
7 Best Kansas Sports Betting Sites
The first on our list is the Bovada sportsbook and casino, which emerged in 2011. For the first five years of operation, the platform held the Kahnawake Gambling Commission’s license, but in 2016, it decided to give up on it after the Commission went through a policy change that Bovada did not approve of. For the last six years, it has operated without a license, but that still did not affect its quality or performance.
Its sportsbook offers a variety of popular payment methods, and the ability to bet on all kinds of big sports franchises, such as the NBA, NFL, MLB, NCAA football, NCAA basketball, and NHL, among others. Apart from traditional currencies, it also accepts Bitcoin, and it features mobile availability. And, if bettors ever experience an issue or need any sort of help, they can contact customer support at any time via email, phone call, or live chat.
The second on the list is BetUS — a well-known and highly-reputable online sports betting platform for the North American market, although the platform’s reputation has been flawless ever since its foundation in 1994. The platform, which is a casino in addition to being a sportsbook, is the holder of a Curacao Gaming Commission’s license, it is privately held, and it is highly secure and reliable.
BetUS features multiple payment levels, including Visa, Mastercard, and multiple cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and alike. In terms of sports betting, the platform offers numerous options, including football, soccer, baseball, basketball, hockey, cycling, golf, boxing, tennis, and more. Plus, players can also make in-play bets, meaning that they can bet on the games while they are happening. It is also rich with welcome bonuses, promotions, and other benefits that make it highly desirable among bettors.
BetOnline is an online sportsbook that launched in 2004, and like our previous entries, it also offers a casino section with plenty of entertaining gaming titles. It is very user-friendly, starting with the fact that it offers a minimum deposit of $20, it features polite and capable customer support, and it is safe to use. It holds the Panama City license, and it features multiple secure payment methods, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover card, American Express, wire transfers, and even cryptocurrencies.
For those who make a minimum deposit of $55, the platform offers a generous welcome bonus, and those who use cryptocurrencies can also benefit from a number of promotions. In addition to regular, monotonous betting, there is also proposition betting that lets users bet on questions, such as which team will be the first to make the 3-point shot, and alike, just so make it more exciting.
Halfway down the list, we have Xbet, which is a platform known for a lot of things, from tight betting odds to excellent customer service and the ability to offer things for novices and professionals alike. Xbet offers a myriad of deposit options, fast payouts, multiple betting options, bonuses, and a lot more that makes it highly attractive to bettors all over Kansas.
The benefits of using this platform keep popping up, but in terms of flaws, it only has 3 eSports games, at least for the time being. But, there are plenty of regular sports, like MLB; NHL, WNBA, golf, soccer, tennis, MMA, boxing, NASCAR, F1, and many more options for new and experienced bettors.
In the fifth spot, we have BUSR, which stands for Bet US Racing. This is easily the best racebook for the US, and one of the leading sportsbooks, available across the country, with the only exceptions being New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. Luckily, Kansas is not on the list.
There are numerous betting options on the platform, apart from horse races, such as MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, MMA, NCAA, betting on live baseball, and more. The platform offers multiple bonuses, including a sign-up bonus, casino bonus, cash bonus, and referral bonus. It also has great customer service available around the clock available via phone call, live chat, or email.
The BUSR website has a lot to offer, and we have listed its features and offerings in our BUSR review. So, if you are thinking of using this platform for your online betting, definitely give it a read first.
Nearing the end of the list, we have MyBookie, which is among the most trusted platforms for online gambling. Like most sportsbooks, it also offers a casino section, but both offer top-notch betting opportunities, with the sportsbook also featuring live betting options. You can bet on a variety of major international sports like basketball, football, soccer, and alike, as well as cricket, rugby, and even politics and entertainment.
MyBookie features multiple bonuses, such as a 50% sign-up bonus, a 10% cash bonus, and a 150% Casino bonus. The minimum deposit for Visa and Mastercard is somewhat elevated, sitting at $45, but if you use cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum Litecoin, or XRP, the minimum is only $20. Other than that, the platform also has 24/7 customer service available via email, live chat, and even phone calls, so you can always reach out if there is a need.
The last on the list is SportsBetting.ag, which is actually a platform operated by BetOnline Group. The platform does not offer a great design, but don’t be deceived by that — it has been around for nearly two decades for a reason. It did experience financial issues in 2012, and BetOnline used this opportunity to take over. Ever since, the platform has been running smoothly, licensed by the Panama Gambling Control Board, and servicing US bettors with no issues.
It features multiple great betting opportunities, and a variety of payment methods, including crypto and fiat options alike, and it even has a casino section. In terms of available sports, there are all the popular ones, such as soccer, football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and even things like snooker, darts, and handball. A welcome bonus is also included, and so are numerous promotions for crypto users, and even a loyalty and VIP program.
The state of sports betting in Kansas
With this latest victory that legalized sports betting, wagering on sports events became fully legal in Kansas. The two chambers did have their differences that resulted in failed attempts to regulate sports betting over the past several years, but the agreement was finally reached.
Then, after the sign-off occurred, Gov. Kelly needed only two weeks to affix her signature and present the bill as the new statute for the books, officially turning it into law.
When will online sports betting launch in Kansas?
The current plan is to have online sports betting up and running by Week 1 of this year’s NFL season, which is starting in September. At least, that would be the ideal result of the efforts put into enabling the sports betting ecosystem in the state. However, there are several steps that need to be completed prior to launch, whether online or retail. As a result, it is more than possible that there will be delays and that online sports betting might not arrive until late 2022 or even early 2023.
For example, regulators have yet to create rules for the new activity, and create a licensing structure, put it into place, and alike. All of this could take several more months, so it is actually unlikely that online sports betting will arrive in time for NFL, even without any additional complications.
Once it does, however, there is a number of apps that could launch in Kansas, offered by the four casinos’ new and potential partners, such as Bally Bet Kansas, Barstool Kansas, BetMGM Kansas, Caesars Kansas, DraftKings Kansas, FanDuel Kansas, and PointsBet Kansas.
Most popular sports to bet on in Kansas
Kansas does not have any major professional sports teams from the four biggest leagues. However, it is still home to an MLS squad, and there are teams in adjacent states that Kansas sports fans are loyal to. So, once online sports betting finally gets enabled, these are the biggest and most popular sports that we expect to see.
Kansas has a number of college teams, but none as big and as popular as Kansas Jayhawks, followed in popularity and success by the Kansas State Wildcats and also Wichita State Shockers. In fact, the Shockers have seen moderate success in March Madness this year and are always a dangerous mid-major for power conference teams to play.
While Kansas City Chiefs are actually located on the Missouri side of the border, they are still the biggest favorite among sports fans from Kansas. Their games routinely air in the state, and their recent success has increased the interest and hype among the locals in Kansas. Other than them, Kansas sports fans also like Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos.
Unfortunately, Kansas sports fans have had to say goodbye to a number of NBA teams from nearby Missouri over the years, with the Kansas City Kings being the most recent team to leave in the 1980s. The state was left with few NBA options after that, but the residents still tend to rally behind Oklahoma City Thunder, even though they did not see much success in recent seasons.
In terms of MLB, pretty much everyone roots for the Kansas City Royals, who also call Missouri home but are still close to the hearts and minds of Kansas’ sports fans. They also won a World Series in the past decade, which is still a strong memory in these parts.
Kansas has only one MLS sports team, and that is Sporting City KC. Previously, they were known as the Kansas City Wiz, and they managed to achieve two MLS Cup victories since their foundation.
Finally, it is worth noting that Kansas Speedway plays host to two annual NASCAR Cup Series races, as well as a few other NASCAR events annually. As a result, motorsports are pretty big in the state, and that means that it is very likely that this will be a huge hit among online sports bettors.
What are the legal gambling options in Kansas?
Kansas is not the biggest state in terms of gambling options, but it does have a handful of outlets that its residents can turn to in order to place a bet. In total, it has 10 casino locations, with 6 of them being tribal locations and the remaining 4 being state-owned. The casinos include the following:
- 7th Street Casino
- Boot Hill Casino
- Crosswinds Casino
- Casino White Cloud
- Golden Eagle Casino
- Sac and Fox Casino
- Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel
- Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway
- Prairie Band Casino & Resort
- Kansas Star Casino
Daily Fantasy Sports in Kansas
Yes, with sports betting, gambling, and even horse racing all legal in the state of Kansas, daily fantasy sports is certainly also an option. In fact, this has been a fully regulated and valid activity since 2015, when former governor Sam Brownback signed off on HB 2155 after it managed to pass both chambers.
Horse Racing in Kansas
Betting on horses is legal in the state of Kansas, but there are no tracks that currently operate in the state. In fact, horse betting is only available online as of right now, and it can be reached through companies like BetAmerica, TwinSpires, and TVG. Live horse racing has not taken place in Kansas in almost 15 years, since 2008. It has been legal in the country since 1987, however.
Lloyd is passionate about online gambling, he lives and breathes blackjack and other table games, and he enjoys sports betting.
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