In May 2022, Kansas became the newest state to legalize sports betting. It had been predicted for several years that sports betting would come to the state, but the road to legalization, like in most states, was rocky. Nevertheless, right before the end of the 2022 legislative session, House and Senate leaders voted on an amended sports betting bill that was approved by wide margins and sent to the Governor for approval. That approval was granted on May 12, and, in a quick turnaround, all the rules were approved and sportsbooks were able to launch on September 1, 2022, just before the start of the 2022 NFL season.

Follow along as we detail what is included in the legislation signed into law, what the existing gambling infrastructure looks like in Kansas, which operators are expected to come to the state, which sports Kansans will be able to bet on, and more, ending with a very special Frequently Asked Questions section. Away we go!

Path to Legalized Sports Betting in Kansas

Kansas is generally known as a conservative state, but it does have its share of gambling, including a state lottery and four licensed casinos. As such, there was some opposition to the sports betting legislation, known as SB 84, on moral grounds, but most interest groups were neutral or supportive of the bill. The biggest obstacle to passing the bill was time. The Kansas legislature meets for just a few months each year, and several policy topics took precedence over sports betting in 2022. But the legislative leaders held hearings, debated the bill, and ultimately passed it on one of the last days of session. Here are the highlights of the bill:

Competition With Neighboring Missouri

Everyone who has watched a Chiefs or Royals game knows that Kansas City is in Missouri. Those outside the region may not realize that Kansas City, Kansas is actually the third-largest city in Kansas, behind Wichita and Overland Park, which is part of the Kansas City regional area. Kansas City, Kansas, unsurprisingly borders Kansas City, Missouri, and the two Kansas Cities make up most of the Kansas City regional area. The Kansas City region is the biggest regional area in Kansas and the second-largest regional area in Missouri, behind St. Louis.

We bring this up because Kansas has had a big rivalry with Missouri since before either of them were even a state. This rivalry extends to many things, including sports betting. Kansas legislators were quite tickled to get legal sports betting passed before their neighbors to the east. The rivalry is so intense that, under the legislation, 80% of the revenue generated from sports betting will be going to a fund intended to attract professional sports teams (read: Kansas City Chiefs) to relocate to Kansas. Only 2% will be going to efforts to address problem gambling, which is a common use of taxpayer money generated by sports betting revenue.

Sportsbooks Expected to Come to Kansas

As mentioned, four casinos currently operate in Kansas. In a unique twist, the casino companies own the property and buildings themselves, but the state of Kansas owns all the equipment. Slot machines, blackjack tables, craps tables, roulette wheels, and anything else related to gaming in the four casinos technically belong to the people of Kansas. This arrangement is very unusual, but it works for both sides. Casino operators have a contract with the state to operate the equipment and pay tax on the revenue generated from gaming activities.

The state of Kansas won’t own the sportsbooks that operate in the four casinos, but they will have to approve any changes to the casino gaming areas. Remember that tribal casinos are separate from this arrangement. They may end up partnering with additional sportsbooks in the future, but that remains to be seen.

Six sportsbooks launched on September 1, the first day they were legally allowed to operate in Kansas. We expect more to come to the state as time goes on. Let’s go over the four casino operators and the online sportsbook licensing agreements they have announced or are expected to announce in the near future.

Casinos in Kansas

Boot Hill Casino – This Dodge City-based casino is owned by Butler National Corp., a large company with sprawling business interests. Butler National announced in May 2022 that it has chosen Bally Bet and DraftKings as its online sportsbook partners. Later, the company announced its third and final online skin will go to Golden Nugget, which will launch its sportsbook in Kansas sometime soon.

Kansas Star Casino – Boyd Gaming owns the Kansas Star Casino, which is located in Mulvane, just south of Wichita. Boyd’s ownership means that FanDuel is now live in Kansas due to the two companies’ mutually beneficial relationship that has given FanDuel access to several states, including Louisiana, Iowa, and Indiana.

Kansas Crossing Casino – Kansas Crossing Casino is located in Pittsburg, famously home to the Pittsburg State University Gorillas. Seriously! The Casino is owned by JNB Gaming, which does not own a sportsbook but has announced licensing agreements with Caesars and PointsBet to provide those two gorillas of sports betting access to the Kansas market. The casino’s third online skin went to BetMGM, which launched in the state on September 1.

With nine of 12 online skins spoken for, there are still three available. Other possible entrants to the Kansas market include:

Kansas Sports Teams

Kansas technically only has one professional sports team. Sporting KC plays their MLS games in a shiny gem of a stadium in Kansas City, Kansas. The Chiefs and Royals are, of course, passionately followed by Kansans, but they play their games on the Missouri side of Kansas City. No matter, because college sports is a huge part of life in Kansas, particularly college basketball. Let’s go over the state’s major college and professional sports teams in a little more detail.

University of Kansas (KU) – Located in wonderful Lawrence, Kansas, the state’s flagship university is home to the 2022 National Champion Jayhawks men’s basketball team. Basketball is life in Kansas, and no team comes close to the popularity of the Jayhawks. Allen Fieldhouse is a shrine to the game, and the 2022 national title was the icing on the cake for fans of KU.

Kansas State University (KSU) – Located in Manhattan, known as the Little Apple, KSU has more than its share of passionate sports fans. KSU has had success in football and has a strong basketball program, but much to the chagrin of Wildcat fans, their team doesn’t have any national titles to point to when their Jayhawk friends start in on how great their basketball team is. Oh, rivalries.

Wichita State University – The Shockers of Wichita State are often the forgotten Kansas school, but they have their own really good sports program. Wichita State doesn’t have a football team, but they do have a solid basketball program and compete in other sports as well. What separates Wichita State from other Kansas schools is its baseball team, which won the Championship in 1989 and was runner-up three times.

Sporting KC – This MLS side (team) originally played their games at Arrowhead Stadium, where the Chiefs play. After the team was sold to a local ownership group, a soccer-specific stadium was built in Kansas to lure the team from Missouri. It worked, and now Sporting KC plays at Children’s Mercy Park, a beautiful stadium just minutes from downtown Kansas City, Kansas.

Kansas City-area Teams That Play in Missouri

Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs need no introduction or description on this page. They are one of the most popular teams in the NFL and will compete for a title as long as Patrick Mahomes is their QB. They may play in Missouri, but the Chiefs are by far the biggest NFL team in Kansas.

Kansas City Royals – The Royals have had considerably less recent success than the Chiefs. The past few years have been lean ones for the MLB team and its fanbase, which consists of many Kansans. Of course, the team did win its second World Series back in 2015, so let’s not feel too sorry for the fans of this currently struggling team.

Kansas Sports Betting Available Sports

Once sports betting is live in the state, which we expect sometime before the end of 2022, bettors in Kansas will have a wide variety of sports available for their wagering pleasure, including:

Kansas Sports Betting Bet Types

All the different bet types will be available to bettors in Kansas when sports betting launches later in 2022. Here are the different bet types Kansans can expect:

Kansas Sports Betting Banking Options

Every sportsbook has a different array of banking options. Some only have 2-3, while others (ahem, FanDuel), offer a wide variety of ways to make deposits and withdrawals. It makes sense for sportsbooks to offer many different banking options so bettors can easily fund their accounts, but there are fees and expenses to consider that limit some sportsbooks from offering different banking options. Regardless, sportsbooks operating in Kansas will offer many, if not all, of the following banking options:

Kansas Sports Betting FAQ

Can I bet on sports in Kansas?

Yes! Sports betting launched in Kansas on September 1, 2022. Good question. Legislation to legalize sports betting was signed into law by Governor Laura Kelly on May 12, 2022, but that was only the beginning of the legalization process. State regulators had to set up an entire framework to ensure bettors are protected and sportsbooks operate fairly and openly. This process was remarkably fast in Kansas, and now bettors are able to wager on their favorite NFL teams and any other sport.

Which sportsbooks are available in Kansas? Which are coming to Kansas?

Bettors in Kansas can expect to choose from a dozen different sportsbooks by the time the market is fully mature in 2023. Six sportsbooks launched on the Day 1, which means six more will come to the state sometime soon. We know nine of the 12 operators already based on existing partnerships and public announcements made by the owners of the four casinos in the state. They include:

What resources for problem gambling are available in Kansas?

At the state level, a portion of the revenues generated from sports betting in the state will be directed to programs that address problem gambling. In addition, every major sportsbook devotes significant time and resources to ensuring bettors who need help with problem betting can easily access ways to limit themselves, including signing up for a self-exclusion list that will prohibit them from accessing the sportsbook at all. This can be for a few days, a month, or even a permanent ban. Sports betting is a form of entertainment, and sportsbooks are really improving their efforts to ensure that bettors who need help can get the help they need.

Anyone who needs help with problem gambling can call a confidential helpline staffed by trained professionals at the National Council on Problem Gambling, a nationwide non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with gambling addiction.