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Iowa Tribe’s sports betting deal with Kansas advancing through legislative process • Kansas Reflector

Byeditor

Apr 2, 2024

A joint House and Senate committee in Topeka voted unanimously to amend the state’s gambling compact with the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, allowing for sports wagering on reservation land in northeast Kansas. The Committee on Inter-Tribal Relations supported the sports-betting agreement on Monday, pending approval from both legislative chambers and Gov. Laura Kelly before being submitted to the U.S. Department of Interior for review. The tribe operates a casino at White Cloud along the Missouri River.

The Prairie Band Potawatomie Nation, located about 15 miles north of Topeka, was the first tribe to complete the sports-wagering process in July 2023. The Senate approved their revised compact 27-8 in April 2023, and it was further endorsed by the House in a vote of 93-27. Attorney Russ Brien, a member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, noted that the new compact was essentially similar to the one approved last year for the Prairie Band tribe.

Legal sports betting has expanded in various states and tribal lands following the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, which overturned federal restrictions on sports wagering. In 2022, after years of debate, the Kansas Legislature passed a bill allowing mobile and retail sports gambling, which was signed into law by Gov. Kelly. This bill applied to state-licensed casinos in Dodge City, Kansas City, Mulvane, and Pittsburg.

While the bill allowed tribes in Kansas to participate in sports gambling on professional and collegiate events, they had to undergo a different regulatory process. Tribal casinos seeking to offer sports betting were required to submit a request to the governor and engage in negotiations to modify their compact. Justin Whitten, chief counsel to the governor, explained that the revised compact with the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska would permit in-person sports wagering on reservation land. The agreement also included a provision that could eventually lead to statewide online sports betting.

By editor

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