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Kansas Approves Sports Betting for Iowa Tribe Compact

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Branimir Ivanov | Senior News Contributor

Updated: Apr 5, 2024

Kansas Approves Sports Betting for Iowa Tribe Compact

the Kansas Legislature has approved an agreement allowing the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska to update their gaming compact to include provisions for sports betting. The decision marks a pivotal moment for both the tribe and the state, setting the stage for the expansion of legal sports gambling within Kansas. For more information on the United States casino legislation scene and news trivia make sure you stay tuned on Casinolandia.

 

Key Points

  1. Legislative Approval: The Kansas Legislature voted overwhelmingly in favor of resolutions SR 1750 and HR 6045, allowing the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska to update their gaming compact for sports betting. With a vote of 30-5 in the Senate and 101-20 in the House, the resolutions await final approval from Gov. Laura Kelly and the US Department of the Interior.
  2. Expansion of Gaming: The inclusion of sports betting in the updated compact reflects a broader trend in the United States following the Supreme Court's 2018 ruling. Kansas, which legalized sports betting in 2022, has seen a gradual expansion of gambling options, both at state-licensed casinos and tribal establishments. The update aligns the Iowa Tribe with similar initiatives, such as those undertaken by the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.
  3. Economic Implications: The approval of sports betting in the Iowa Tribe compact opens doors for increased revenue and economic growth. Figures from February 2024 highlight the significant contributions of the casino industry to Kansas's economy, with total revenue reaching $34.3 million. With sports betting set to join the offerings, stakeholders anticipate further economic benefits for both the tribe and the state, ushering in a new era of gaming entertainment and financial opportunity.

 

The legislative process saw the approval of two resolutions, SR 1750 and HR 6045, with resounding support from both chambers. The Kansas Senate voted 30-5 in favor of SR 1750, while the House followed suit with a vote of 101-20 to adopt HR 6045. However, for these resolutions to come into effect, they await the final endorsement from Gov. Laura Kelly and subsequent approval from the US Department of the Interior.

The Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska currently operates the Casino White Cloud along the Missouri River in Brown County. With the update to their gaming compact, the tribe aims to extend its offerings to include sports betting, aligning itself with similar initiatives across the state.

The compact amendments for the Iowa Tribe closely mirror those approved for the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation earlier this year. Russ Brien, an attorney and member of the Iowa Tribe, highlighted the similarities, stating, “This is substantively, other than changing the names and dates, identical to the compact this committee approved last year for Prairie Band.”

The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, situated approximately 15 miles north of Topeka, made headlines when it finalized the sports betting process in July 2023. Following overwhelming support in the Senate (27-8) and House (93-27), the tribe became the first in Kansas to navigate the regulatory landscape of sports betting.

The legislative strides in Kansas reflect broader trends across the United States regarding the legalization of sports betting. Since the landmark Supreme Court ruling in May 2018, which overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), individual states have been empowered to chart their course on sports gambling legislation. Currently, 38 states have legalized sports betting, with many others actively considering similar measures.

Kansas itself joined the ranks of states embracing legal sports betting in 2022. Following years of debate, the state legislature passed a bill permitting both online and retail sports betting at licensed casinos, including establishments such as Boot Hill Casino and Resort, Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, Kansas Star Casino, and Kansas Crossing Casino. Tribal casinos, like those operated by the Iowa Tribe, are also authorized to offer sports betting, albeit through a distinct regulatory process.

Justin Whitten, chief counsel to the governor, underscored the significance of the updated compact, noting its provisions for in-person sports betting on reservation land held by the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska. Furthermore, Whitten indicated that the compact included a “trigger mechanism” that could potentially pave the way for remote online casinos in Kansas, expanding the scope of gambling offerings within the state.

The latest figures from February 2024 underscore the economic impact of the casino industry in Kansas, with total revenue reaching $34.3 million from poker, slots, and table games. With the impending introduction of sports betting, these numbers are poised to further ascend, contributing to both tribal and state coffers.

 

“Casino gaming has been a vital source of revenue for our tribe, and the inclusion of sports betting in our compact will only enhance our ability to support our community and provide new opportunities for economic growth.”

 

The Conclusions

As Kansas takes another stride towards embracing the burgeoning sports betting market, stakeholders anticipate a new era of gaming entertainment and economic opportunity for the state and its tribal communities. With the legislative groundwork laid and tribal compacts updated, the stage is set for Kansas to join the ranks of states benefiting from the revenue and excitement generated by legal sports betting. The coming months will undoubtedly witness the realization of this long-awaited development, reshaping the landscape of gaming and leisure activities within the Sunflower State.

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