Kansas Legalizes Sports Betting, But Lawsuit Stands in the WayKansas
Sports betting enthusiasts celebrated last week when Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed a bill that legalizes both online sports betting and retail sports betting.
However, only days after the bill was signed, the operator of a Kansas casino sued the state for breach of contract, a move that could hold up the process of offering sports bets to the state’s residents.
While the plaintiff in the case says they are in favor of sports betting, they feel a provision in the new law violates a contract they already had with Kansas. That could hold up the official launch of sports betting back even further than was expected at first.
Casino Files Lawsuit
One of the provisions in Kansas’ sports betting bill was allowing historical horse racing at the state’s Wichita Greyhound Park. While it wouldn’t seem like it has a direct impact on legalized sports betting, it could now that it’s all packaged into one bill.
The Kansas Star Casino, located in Mulvane — just south of the city of Wichita — sued the state over the new sports betting law. Boyd Gaming, which operates the casino, is arguing that the provision violates a previous contract they had with the state.
When Kansas legalized casino betting back in 2007, they had a provision regarding historical horse racing. And that’s what Boyd Gaming is challenging. They believe that this expansive gambling offering such as slots at Greyhound Park violate the gaming contracts the state has with them.
In return, they are seeking to receive a penalty of $25 million for what they’re claiming is breach of contract. Ultimately, Boyd Gaming says it’s not opposed to legalized sports betting, though, so it shouldn’t be a nail in the coffin for the practice.
When Could Kansas Offer Legal Sports Bets?
Kansas’ law will allow for both retail and online sports betting. Casinos will be the point companies for all of the sports betting. They’ll be allowed to partner with online sports betting operators as well as 50 different retailers. This means they could set up sports betting kiosks at gas stations or restaurants, for example.
Sports betting can also happen on-site at the federally-recognized tribes located in Kansas, as well as at the Kansas Speedway and at the Sporting Kansas City home stadium.
The state will be taking a 10% flat tax cut of every sports bet made, no matter whether it’s at an in-person location or online. Most of that money will be dedicated to trying to lure professional sports teams from neighboring Missouri over the border to Kansas.
But, what many residents are asking is when will sports betting be offered in Kansas? According to the bill, the Kansas Lottery will be running sports betting, and they’ll have until January 1 of 2023 to have the regulatory environment all set up.
Most likely, then, the first bets won’t be accepted until probably the spring of 2023. Until then, there could be a battle in court over the apparent breach of contract.