Sports Betting

Kansas is trying to lure the Chiefs and Royals away from the sports betting scene in Missouri

We publish independently audited information that meets our strong editorial guidelines. Be aware we may earn a commission if you purchase anything via links on our pages.
Chiefs and Royals pic

Last Friday, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed House Bill 2001 into law. This allows Kansas to offer Kansas City Chiefs (NFL) and Kansas City Royals (MLB) incentives through sales tax and revenue bonds. Part of the tax cut offered to the pro teams will come from Kansas’ sports betting revenue. Governor Kelly had this to say.

We know that modernizing our economic development tools provides the opportunity to increase private investment into the state,” said Gov. Kelly. “By modifying the STAR Bonds program, one of our strongest economic development mechanisms, lawmakers crafted a viable option for attracting professional sports teams to Kansas.”

What can the Kansas sports betting market offer for the Chiefs and Royals?

Early last week, the Kansas legislature held a special session to pass the bonds bill. It passed 84-38 in the House and 27-8 in the Senate. State lawmakers want to cover up to 70% of the development costs for new stadiums. That’s up from 50% which was offered in the previous program. Including liquor licenses and money from the Kansas sports betting fund, it would take about 30 years to pay back the bonds using new sales tax in a stadium district.

In the new law, cities, and counties would have the ability to opt in or out of the new tax program. With a month left in the fiscal year, Kansas has already exceeded its $10 million projection in tax revenue from sports betting. There’s no doubt they have enough money to possibly lure the Chiefs and Royals away from the Missouri sports betting scene. The Royals want a new stadium and the Chiefs want major renovations done to Arrowhead Stadium. However, voters rejected a tax plan to fund those projects.

What type of leverage does Missouri have over Kansas?

For years, Missouri has worked to legalize online and retail wagering. However, they’ve had no real luck in doing so. The state can’t use sports betting as a funding option. Missouri is doing what it can to keep the Chiefs and Royals. Are these pro teams using this as leverage to stay in their current state? Kansas legislators certainly feel that way. In May, the Chief and Roayls were part of a pro-sports-led coalition that turned in 340,000 voter signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office. They hope to get Missouri sports betting on the November ballot. The Chiefs and Royals have flirted with crossing state lines and taking their sports betting business to Kansas. However, this will likely spark Missouri to take action if they want to keep the Chiefs and Royals.