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

Kansas Legislature Unanimously Approves Amended Gambling Compact with Iowa Tribe for Sports Wagering on Reservation Land

A joint committee of the Kansas House and Senate in Topeka voted unanimously to amend the state’s gambling compact with the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, paving the way for sports wagering on reservation land in northeast Kansas. The Committee on Inter-Tribal Relations approved 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 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.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association in 2018, legal sports betting has expanded across various states and tribal lands. In 2022, after years of debate, the Kansas Legislature passed a bill allowing mobile and retail sports gambling at state-licensed casinos in Dodge City, Kansas City, Mulvane, and Pittsburg. This bill applied to tribes in Kansas as well but required them to undergo a different regulatory process than state-licensed casinos due to their sovereignty status as Native American tribes.

Tribal casinos seeking to offer sports betting were required to submit a request to Governor Laura Kelly and engage in negotiations with her administration to modify their compact with her state government counterparts. Justin Whitten, chief counsel for Governor Kelly explained that this revised compact with the Iowa Tribe would allow for in-person sports wagering on reservation land while also including provisions that could eventually lead to statewide online sports betting if approved by both legislative chambers and Gov Kelly before being submitted for review by UDPI (U S Department Of Interior).

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