In a unanimous vote, a joint House-Senate committee has approved an amendment to the state’s gambling agreement with the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, allowing sports betting on reservation lands in northeast Kansas. The Intertribal Relations Committee endorsed the sports betting agreement, which must now be approved by both houses of the Legislature and Gov. Laura Kelly before it can be submitted to the U.S. Department of the Interior for review.

The Prairie Band Potawatomie Nation was the first tribe to complete the sports betting process in July 2023, following the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association that expanded sports betting to states and tribal lands. In April 2023, the Senate approved the tribe’s revised compact 27-8 and it was approved 93-27 in Home. Attorney Russ Brien, an Iowa tribal member from Kansas and Nebraska, noted that the agreement is similar to one approved last year for the Prairie Band.

Tribes in Kansas can participate in sports gambling on professional and collegiate events, but must follow a different procedure for regulatory approval. Tribal casinos interested in sports betting must seek approval from the governor and engage in treaty amendment negotiations. According to Justin Witten, the governor’s chief counsel, the revised agreement allows for in-person sports betting on reservation lands held by the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska. The compact includes a trigger mechanism for potential remote online betting from locations across the country.

By Samantha Johnson

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