Kansas Slowly Moving Towards Legalization of Sports Betting

Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs. David Eulitt/Getty Images/AFP

Things are, albeit slowly, looking on the up and up in Kansas where sports betting may finally be legalized sooner rather than later. The top sportsbooks like Caesars, which already operates in Kansas City in Missouri, FanDuel, and others may be coming to the state of Kansas sooner rather than later.

Things have stalled and there are still things that are being discussed, and debated before they need to be approved and passed. But strong progress has been made in the direction toward the legalization of sports betting and of online sports wagering in Kansas.


Why has the legalization of sports betting stalled in the first place? It is true that there were and continue to be those who oppose legalization from a moral standpoint. For example, one Republican snarked about an amendment addressing the problems, such as addiction, that gambling may cause. His simplistic and dismissive point was that sports betting simply should not be legalized because it may cause these problems.

Hopefully, in order to reveal the hollowness of his point, somebody suggested banning cars because they may cause accidents. But, thankfully, most politicians recognize the sufficient moral value of gambling and their support is absolutely bipartisan. Instead of criticizing sports betting from a moral point of view, politicians have struggled to reach an agreement over issues like control and the division of revenue.

What Happened 

Significant progress has been made since the move towards legalizing sports betting had been stalling. An online sports betting bill was revived and amended.  The voting was 85-32 in favor of amending it.

But it’s not like the Senate and House can be satisfied with having separate versions of the bill. So now the Senate and House must continue ironing things out — for example, matters of revenue — and reach a consensus on a final version. The bill would then go to the governor before it can become law in the state.


Kansas politicians probably feel pressure from neighboring states who are already making legal progress in the sports betting landscape. One such state is Missouri where many Kansans would be inclined to place wagers because many of their favorite sports teams reside in this state.

Links between the state include the major metropolitan center Kansas City. Given the time required for discussion, agreement, and formal steps in the political machinery, the legalization of sports betting should not be expected immediately.

One may hope that it gets legalized by the end of this year, although 2023 is also a possibility. What we do know is that legalization has been stalled for enough time