Apr 03, 2024

Kan. Legislature approves agreement with Iowa Tribe to allow sports gambling

Posted Apr 03, 2024 6:00 PM
 Justin Whitten, general counsel for Gov. Laura Kelly, outlines details of a revised state-tribal gaming compact to allow sports wagering on land of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska. A joint House and Senate committee approved the compact, but it must clear the Legislature and win approval of the U.S. Department of Interior. (Kansas Reflector screen capture of Legislature’s YouTube channel)
Justin Whitten, general counsel for Gov. Laura Kelly, outlines details of a revised state-tribal gaming compact to allow sports wagering on land of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska. A joint House and Senate committee approved the compact, but it must clear the Legislature and win approval of the U.S. Department of Interior. (Kansas Reflector screen capture of Legislature’s YouTube channel)

Amendment of tribal compact with state mirrors deal with Prairie Band

BY: TIM CARPENTERKansas Reflector

TOPEKA ‚ÄĒ The Kansas House and Senate voted Tuesday to amend the state‚Äôs gambling compact with the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska to allow sports wagering on the tribe‚Äôs reservation land in northeast Kansas.

The joint legislative Committee on Inter-Tribal Relations endorsed Monday the sports-betting agreement applicable the tribe’s casino at White Cloud along the Missouri River. On Tuesday, the House passed the measure 101-20 and the Senate echoed that sentiment 30-5. The resolutions were forwarded to Gov. Laura Kelly. Before the Iowa Tribe initiated sports book betting, the revised gambling compact must be submitted to the U.S. Department of Interior for review and approval.

The Prairie Band Potawatomie Nation, which operates a casino about 15 miles north of Topeka, was the first tribe to complete the sports-wagering process in July 2023. In April 2023, the Senate approved the tribe’s revised compact 27-8 and it was endorsed 93-27 in the House.

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

Sports betting expanded in states and on tribal lands following the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association that struck down federal law limiting legal sports wagering operations.

After years of debate, the Legislature approved a mobile and retail sports gambling bill in 2022 that was signed by Kelly. The bill applied to state-licensed Boot Hill Casino & Resort in Dodge City, Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane and Kansas Crossing Casino in Pittsburg.

Tribes in Kansas also could take part in sports gambling, including on professional and collegiate events, but had to 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, said the revised compact would authorize in-person sports wagering on reservation land held by the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska. The compact included a trigger mechanism that would open the door to remote online wagering from locations throughout the state, Whitten said.