Kansas online sports betting laws
Following some hopeful moments, 2021 proved not to be the year that the Kansas legislature would pass a bill to legalize and regulate sports betting in the state. Therefore, the state’s four casinos will have to wait until 2022 for another bite at the apple to authorize sports betting at their facilities and online.
Administrative law and government relations attorney
Jennifer has a degree in Journalism from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C, in 2005. She's been living in Las Vegas helping clients in the casino and gaming industry, as well as other regulated businesses, across Nevada for over 15 years.
She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and books on US gaming law, including most recently, The Law of Regulated Gambling: A Practical Guide for Business Lawyers, American Bar Association (2020), and That (Expletive) Broad: Women Who Broke Barriers in the Casino and Gaming Industry (2020).
Is sports betting legal in Kansas?
Not yet. The Kansas legislature failed to pass one of two sports betting bills put forward during the 2021 legislative session.
Is online sports betting legal in Kansas?
No, Kansas has yet to pass legislation needed to authorize sports betting in the state.
When the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned in 2018, there were hopes that Kansas would be one of the first states to take advantage.
The ruling by the Supreme Court that PASPA was unconstitutional put the choice over allowing sports betting in the hands of each state.
However, for more than two years state legislators wrangled over the way forward. Hopes of a booming Kansas sports betting industry emerging quickly turned out to be dust in the wind.
The state senate passed a bill early in 2020 but it did not have the support of Governor Laura Kelly, who reportedly wanted a greater slice of profits to come to the state than envisaged in the act.
There was some serious momentum behind the push for Kansas sports betting in 2021. This was bolstered by studies from Eilers-Krejcik and AGA-Oxford (directly referred to in the Kansas Division of the Budget) that suggest the three million people in the state could wager up to $2 billion a year across all betting and gaming options. Despite this, the proffered legislation failed to make it to the finish line this year and all eyes now turn to 2022.
Under the 2021 proposed sports betting legislation, the four casinos in the state would have become the centers of Kansas sports betting activity.
The legislation as it was put forth, would have allowed for an expansion of the state lottery to allow sports betting. Each casino would also have been allowed to run a sportsbook at its premises.
What’s really interesting is that each casino would have been able to partner with three online sportsbooks, heralding the beginning of Kansas online sports betting.
The legislation would have also authorized the tribes in the state – who operate four casinos – to renegotiate gaming pacts to allow them to offer sports betting.
It will be interesting to see if the same structure is proposed in future sports betting bills in Kansas.
Given the likely status of Kansas sports betting as an extension of the state lottery’s operations, the same regulations with regard to tax will almost certainly apply.
The IRS sees all forms of gambling winnings as taxable income. Any gambling winnings must be declared on your federal tax return using form 1040 under “other income”.
Keep a careful record of all your winnings, and your losses, too, under “other miscellaneous deductions”. It is probable that if you record a win over a certain threshold, the sportsbook/lottery will withhold an amount for income tax.
Kansas is one of the states where there has been no confusion at all over the legality of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) for several years, because the state passed a law in 2015 specifically declaring DFS legal, to the delight of more than 500,000 people in the Sunflower State. That’s how many people are estimated to enjoy the challenge of DFS games here.
Sport is big in Kansas, with top level football and baseball teams located just over the border in Kansas City, Missouri, and a vibrant college sports scene in the state too.
NFL is massive from a watching and betting (where allowed) perspective across the US, but it does help if you have a team who have been to two recent Super Bowls on your doorstep. The Kansas City Chiefs took the ultimate prize in 2019 and lost in the Super Bowl the following season. With a busy college football scene too, Kansas sports bettors will have plenty to interest them.
Although Kansas sports betting is yet to get under way, there are plenty of resources already in place to make sure the activity is conducted as responsibly as possible.
It’s essential that support services are in place wherever sports betting is permitted. Even though the overwhelming majority of people view gambling of any kind as a leisure activity, for a few people it can lead to problems.
It’s also notable that the bill that would have legalized Kansas sports betting in 2021 included a stipulation that two per cent of lottery gaming facility revenues go to a problem gambling and addictions grant fund.
The assistance available to anybody who has issues with their gambling in Kansas includes:
Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission: The KRGC work with state-owned casinos to ensure they have resources in place to address problem gambling. It also monitors a voluntary exclusion program.
Kansas Responsible Gambling Alliance: This body offers free and confidential treatment to problem gamblers and their families.
Boyd Gaming: An example of a gaming operator with an online focus on problem gambling, including links to resources in the states where it operates.
National Council on Problem Gambling: A national body that has a local focus on Kansas, with links to bodies such as Gamblers Anonymous and a 24-hour helpline.
PASPA is taken off the statute books. Kansas is viewed as a likely candidate to be one of the first states to legalize sports betting as a result. The legislature discusses three bills but none of them pass.
Legislative efforts stall because of a dispute over the organization of sports betting if it was legalized. No agreement is reached on who would run it.
The state senate passes a bill authorizing sports betting at the four state-owned casinos, but it runs into opposition from other gaming industries and from the state governor.
Kansas sports betting moved another step closer as a reshaped bill that would allow both retail and online betting passes through the senate and goes to the house, before taking a step backwards when the legislation fails to pass.
Currently, there are no locations in the state where you can bet on sports – and no mobile sportsbooks licensed to allow Kansas online betting.
Kansas online betting has yet to be legalized. In encouraging news, however, the sports betting legislation that failed to pass in 2021 did include a provision for three online sportsbooks to partner each of the four state-owned casinos.
No. At the moment there is no such thing as legal Kansas online sports betting and no Kansas betting sites. There may be operators offering sports betting services in the state, but these are unlicensed offshore sportsbooks. It is unadvisable to bet with such operations because you have no legal recourse in the case of a dispute.
Cash out is a recent innovation that goes hand in hand with live betting. It allows you to settle a bet before an event is over, to lock in a profit or to limit losses. If and when Kansas online betting becomes a reality, customers will be able to choose their favorite cash out site.