Sports betting coming to Kansas

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 9:06 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KCTV) - Casinos in Kansas are cheering after Governor Laura Kelly signed S.B. 84 Thursday, which authorizes sports betting in the state.

The house and senate signed the bill in the wee hours two weeks ago.

“It’s another revenue stream for the state, and it’s another thing that attracts people to our state,” said Rick Skinner, the general manager of Hollywood Casino at the Legends.

His casino is one of only two Kansas casinos on that side of the Kansas City metro. The other is the 7th Street Casino in downtown KCK, which is owned and operated by Wyandotte Nation tribe.

Skinner said sports betting will bring a new clientele, adding to those who currently come for slots and table games. It will expend on their recent effort to diversify their audience by adding live performances of Quixotic. That’s a local art collective that fuses music, acrobatics, and dance in a style often compared to Cirque de Soleil.

“And, the sports wagering will again be a differentiated item that will attract more people to our property,” said Skinner.

It might attract people to more than just the casino. The law allows for betting on phone apps equipped with geofencing to restrict the use only when physically in Kansas.

“The way that it works is that when you’re geofenced in the state of Kansas -- if you’re in Overland Park or Olathe -- you can bet on on anything that you would be able to if you were right here with us,” explained Skinner.

He’s been banking on the bill passing and being signed into law for a while now. The casino had to close its buffet at the start of the pandemic. When restrictions eased, leadership decided not to reopen it.

“Just in case sports wagering were to pass, because that’s the perfect location for great views of the track and the Kansas Speedway,” Skinner added.

The majority of the state tax on each bet has been designated for attracting pro sports teams to Kansas.

The bill does not specify when betting can begin, but some of the deadlines suggest they’re hoping to have everything lined up by the start of football season.