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Prairie Band Casino Announces Sports Betting Plans With Expansion In Mind

Written By Derek Helling on June 9, 2023
prairie band casino logo over text announcing the target date for a physical sportsbook

Prairie Band Casino is going to offer sports betting to Kansans to the extent the law allows, whatever that may be. At this time, that will essentially consist of a physical sportsbook within the casino to avoid running afoul of federal laws governing tribal gaming.

Should that legal standard ever change, the casino will likely expand its offerings. There’s a chance for that to happen, albeit a long one.

Prairie Band Casino shares Kansas sportsbook intent

According to Rebekah Chung of KSNT, the casino that the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation operates near Mayetta, Kansas intends to open a sportsbook sometime during the fourth quarter of this year. Should the casino follow through on those plans, it will be the first tribal casino within Kansas’ borders to offer sports betting.

A representative for the casino said in addition to the Kansas sportsbook, the casino will offer sports betting kiosks on its gaming floor. Bets that guests place will count towards the casino’s rewards program as well.

Other than that, however, details about the sportsbook are scant. It’s unknown whether the sportsbook will bear the casino branding or if the casino has partnered with a sportsbook operator. Tribal casinos throughout the United States operate their books on a variety of models.

It seems more likely that the casino has contracted with an operator, though. The casino representative mentioned that “we are partnering with the world’s leading odds provider and others to give our guests the finest sports betting experience.” More announcements about those deals could be forthcoming soon.

Once this sportsbook is up and running, that could represent the extent to which Prairie Band Casino will get involved in sports betting. That is barring a significant change in how the federal government treats gambling offered by tribal gaming authorities.

Online betting in a hypothetical future

Part of the reason why the Prairie Band Casino is only offering in-person sports betting is a deliberate choice. Part of it is how federal law treats such gambling.

The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation offers gaming based on the terms of a compact with Kansas and the US government. That includes this forthcoming sportsbook. The casino’s owner could have opted to form a commercial agreement with Kansas instead.

However, there are downsides to that situation for the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation as well as upsides. For example, the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation would have had to play by all the same rules that commercial sportsbook operators in the state do, like paying a 10% privilege tax on its sportsbook revenue.

The upside of that situation, however, would have been the ability to offer online sports betting everywhere in Kansas. Federal law, or at least the current interpretation of it, bans compact gaming on non-tribal lands. That includes online gambling.

There is litigation challenging that interpretation. However, it seems unlikely to produce a favorable result for the plaintiffs. Barring an act of Congress amending the current law, that standard is likely to stay in place for the foreseeable future.

Should that standard ever change, though, Kansas and the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation have worked language into the compact that would leave room for the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation to offer online gambling on sports.

For the time being, though, Prairie Band Casino is keeping it local. Like right next to the slot machines local.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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