Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation of Kansas Has Sports Betting Agreement Approved by Feds

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The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation in Kansas has received federal approval of its new gaming compact with Kansas. That allows it to offer sports betting at its tribal casino, it revealed this week.

The approval was granted by the U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs. It allows the tribe to proceed with plans to open a sportsbook at the Prairie Band Casino & Resort later this year.

The announcement comes around a month after the Prairie Band and Kansas completed negotiations on a new gaming compact, including a route to sports betting.

“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,” said Tribal Council Chairman Joseph “Zeke” Rupnick, speaking with Kansas City media outlet Fox4 News.

State Firsts

The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation is the first tribal operator licensed to offer sports betting in Kansas.

The tribe’s casino is located on tribal land in Mayetta, Kansas, about 25 miles north of Topeka.

This isn’t the first time it’s been a pioneering influence in the state gambling market. The Prairie Band Casino and Resort was the first full-service casino venue in Kansas when it opened in 1998.

Now, in 2023, the tribe aims to launch its new sportsbook by the fourth quarter of this year, with Rupnick indicating that the sportsbook could open as early as September.

When it announced its intentions last month to open a sportsbook, a Prairie Band spokesperson said the operation would be in partnership with “the world’s leading odds provider.” But who that provider is has still yet to be revealed.

Competing on a Level Playing Field

The legalization of sports betting in Kansas in 2022 opened up new opportunities for the state’s gaming industry. The market has taken a total wagering handle of more than $1 billion since opening.

Rupnick expressed his anticipation for the moment the Prairie Band will compete on the “same playing field” as commercial casinos in the state.

“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.”

However, the Tribe’s sportsbook will be facing big competition from top national operators like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, and Barstool Sports. Then there’s also the huge market preference for online sports betting, a picture which is reflected nationally.

In June, sportsbooks in Kansas settled more than $98 million in wagers, generating $4 million in revenue. But the vast majority of these bets were placed online, with more than $94 million coming from online sportsbooks

The state also collected $409,425 in tax for the month, according to the latest official monthly figures from regulator the Kansas Lottery.  

In other Kansas tribal gaming news, earlier this month the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma came out on top in its 30-year legal battle with the state of Kansas. It could pave the way for the tribe open a casino on a 10-acre lot in Park City, near Wichita.

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