Proposal headed to Gov. Kelly's desk

Kansas Legislature greenlights Iowa Tribe’s compact amendments for sports betting

Casino White Cloud
Reading time 1:24 min

The Kansas Legislature has given the green light to amendments in the gaming compact between the state and the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, paving the way for sports betting on tribal lands in northeast Kansas.

On Tuesday, the Kansas Senate voted 30-5 in favor of adopting their resolution, SR 1750, while the House voted 101-20 to adopt HR 6045, both of which are now awaiting approval from Governor Laura Kelly. Once approved, the amendments would also require endorsement from the U.S. Department of Interior. The joint legislative Committee on Inter-Tribal Relations had previously endorsed the agreement.

The primary change in the amended compact is the inclusion of provisions allowing for sports betting, expanding the scope of gaming activities offered by the tribe. Currently, the Iowa Tribe operates Casino White Cloud in Brown County.

The decision follows a similar move by the Prairie Band Casino & Resort in Mayetta, which became the first tribal casino in Kansas to offer sports betting earlier this year.

This is substantively, other than changing the names and dates, identical to the compact this committee approved last year for Prairie Band,” said attorney Russ Brien, a member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska. 

The push for sports betting in Kansas gained momentum following the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, which paved the way for states to legalize sports wagering. In 2022, after years of debate, the Kansas Legislature passed a bill allowing for mobile and retail sports gambling, which applied to both state-licensed casinos as well as tribal establishments.

However, while tribes in Kansas can also take part in sports gambling they must follow a different procedure for full regulatory approval. Tribal casinos interested in sports betting must submit a request to the governor and engage with the executive branch in negotiations on tweaks to the compact.

Justin Whitten, Chief Counsel to the Governor, highlighted that the revised compact not only authorizes in-person sports wagering on reservation land but also includes provisions for potential remote online wagering statewide.

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