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Gov. Kelly Ceremonially Signs Kansas Sports Betting Bill, Casts Doubt on Chiefs Relocation

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Jun 21, 2022 · 7:19 AM PDT

Kansas City Chiefs, NFL schedule
Dec 12, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; The Kansas City Chiefs players on the bench dance during the second half against the Las Vegas Raiders at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
  • Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly ceremonially signed the state’s sports betting bill 
  • Kelly said sports betting tax revenue likely won’t influence Kansas City Chiefs relocation
  • Nobody in her administration has approached Chiefs to relocate to Kansas

Gov. Laura Kelly (D) ceremoniously signed the Kansas sports betting bill into law on June 20, but threw cold water on hopes that the revenue generated from the new law would be enough to influence the Kansas City Chiefs to relocate to Kansas.

The law establishes an “Attracting Professional Sports in Kansas” fund, which lawmakers said could be used to motivate the Kansas City Chiefs to relocate to Kansas. The Chiefs currently play their home games at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO.

Gov. Kelly Doubts Chiefs Relocation to Kansas

During a meeting with the press after ceremoniously signing the bill into law, Kelly told reporters that it was highly unlikely that the revenue generated from the state sports betting bill would lead to a potential Chiefs relocation, according to Fox 4 Kansas City.

“I have never approached the Chiefs, nor has anybody in my administration, so no… I am not doing that,” Kelly said according to Fox 4 Kansas City. “And quite honestly, when you think about it the amount of money that this bill would generate and put into that fund, it would not come close to being what you would need to be able to attract a major league.”

Rumors of a potential relocation gained momentum earlier in the year, when Chiefs President Mark Donovan commented that the Chiefs were exploring all options for the team’s future, including building a new stadium next to Arrowhead or moving the franchise out of state.

The sports betting bill levies a 10% tax on retail and online sports betting. The law is expected to bring in nearly $10 million annually in taxes, of which 80% will be earmarked to lure professional sports franchises to relocate to the state. This means upwards of $8 million a year could be invested into the specialized “Attracting Professional Sports in Kansas” fund.

According to Forbes, the Kansas City Chiefs are currently valued at $2.93 billion and is the 22nd highest valuated sports franchise in the world. The Chiefs current lease on Arrowhead Stadium runs through the 2033 season.

Kansas Sports Betting Details

The four Kansas casinos will soon be able to offer retail and online sports betting. The casinos will each be able to partner with up to three online sports betting operators. In addition to state casinos, Kansas Native American Tribes will have the opportunity to amend their gaming compacts to allow for retail or online sports betting at their facilities.

Casinos will also be able to partner with up to 50 additional locations, including professional sports franchises, to install sports betting kiosks. Currently, the only professional franchise in the state is MLS Sporting Kansas City.

The bill states that sports betting will be allowed as soon as it’s deemed feasible, but permanent sports betting rules and regulations must be approved by Jan. 1, 2023. The state is expected to launch sports betting in late 2022 or early 2023.

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