TOPEKA, Kan. — A sports wagering amendment to Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation’s existing Class III gaming compact with the state of Kansas has been approved in accordance with the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
The green light from the federal government means Prairie Band Casino & Resort will officially be able to move forward with their plans to launch sports betting in 2023.
FOX4’s Kansas Capitol Bureau spoke with Tribal Council Chairman Joseph “Zeke” Rupnick on Monday. Rupnick said that the move allows them to be on the “same playing field” as state casinos.
“To be honest with you, it was a quite cumbersome process, and I didn’t really think it was going to get it done this year,” Rupnick said. “But thanks to the governor’s staff, their leadership, along with the leadership of the elected members of the House and Senate, we were able to get this done.”
Kansas legalized sports betting last year in September, kicking off months-long negotiations with Prairie Band to approve an amendment to their compact.
Lawmakers approved the tribal casino’s gaming compact toward the tail end of the legislative session back in April. Now, the casino has received the final stamp of approval to solidify their plans.
Casino officials announced in June that they’re aiming for a “Q4 launch.” Q4 is the last quarter of the financial year, which usually starts Oct. 1.
Rupnick said the launch could, possibly, come sooner, even as early as September.
“Initially, we’re going to have a sports betting room that’s going to be located in the casino, and our hope is going to be to offer up a mobile app,” Rupnick said.
Prairie Band will offer on-site betting opportunities. They’re also looking at developing their own sports betting app for people to use.
Sports betting will only be authorized on the tribe’s reservation, since other tribal casinos will need to renegotiate their compacts to offer sports betting.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling problem, help is available.
Find resources from the Kansas Behavioral Health Services, Kansas Gambling Help, or call the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network at 1-800-522-4700.