Legislative progress underway for Iowa Tribe’s sports gambling agreement with Kansas • Kansas Reflector

In a unanimous vote, a joint House and Senate committee approved an amendment to the state’s gambling compact with the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska. This move allows sports wagering on reservation land in northeast Kansas. The Committee on Inter-Tribal Relations endorsed the sports-betting agreement, which must receive approval from both chambers of the Legislature and Gov. Laura Kelly before being submitted to the U.S. Department of Interior for review.

The Prairie Band Potawatomie Nation was the first tribe to complete the sports-wagering process in July 2023, just a few months after Attorney Russ Brien mentioned that their revised compact was similar to the one approved last year for the Prairie Band. The Senate approved their compact 27-8, while it was endorsed 93-27 in the House.

The expansion of sports betting occurred following a historic U.S. Supreme Court decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association in 2018, which ended Nevada’s monopoly on legal sports betting across all states and opened up opportunities for other states to regulate their own gambling industries. After years of debate, Kansas lawmakers finally passed a mobile and retail sports gambling bill in 2022 that was signed by Gov. Kelly and applied to various state-licensed casinos such as Boot Hill Casino & Resort, Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, Kansas Star Casino, and Kansas Crossing Casino.

However, unlike state-licensed casinos that can participate in both online and retail sports gambling without needing regulatory approval from tribes or governors, tribes in Kansas must follow a different procedure for regulatory approval when it comes to participating in sports gambling on professional and collegiate events held within their reservation lands or tribal territories outside their borders or even remotely through online platforms within their state borders (excluding those located entirely outside of their respective states). Tribal casinos interested in participating must request approval from the governor and engage in negotiations to amend their compacts with them before they are allowed to do so

By Riley Johnson

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