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Kansas sued by casino almost immediately after legalizing sports betting

Kansas legalized sports betting Thursday, only to be "sued almost immediately" by the operator of a state-owned casino that could "offer the new wagering over an unrelated part of the law designed to revive a long-closed greyhound track in its area," according to Tsubasa Field & Hanna of the AP. Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly signed a bill that the Republican-controlled Legislature "passed with bipartisan support." State officials and others "weren’t sure ahead of her action when sports fans actually would be able to start making their wagers." The law will "allow people in the state to use cellphone or computer apps to bet on sporting events and to place bets at each of four state-owned casinos or up to 50 other locations chosen by each casino." The lawsuit was filed by the Kansas Star Casino, and it argues that the state is "breaching its contract, which says the lottery will not permit competition from similar facilities in the Wichita area." The new law "dedicates most of the the state’s share of revenues from the new gambling -- perhaps $5 million a year -- to efforts to lure" the Chiefs from Missouri to Kansas (AP, 5/13).

TIMELINE UNCERTAIN: In Kansas, Bahl & Tidd write while the system could "possibly be set up in time for the NFL and college football seasons," it is "more likely to be in place" in January '23. Under the law, the Kansas Lottery would "have until Jan. 1, 2023 to create a regulatory environment for sports betting." The exact length of time "needed to prepare is unknown," including how long it would "take for casinos to roll out their partnerships with sports betting applications." It is expected, however, that bettors would "be able to begin wagering by spring of next year." The state will "take a flat 10% cut of all bets, regardless of whether they are placed online or in person" (TOPEKA CAPITAL-JOURNAL, 5/13).

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