State Watch

Kansas governor places state’s first legal sports bet on Chiefs to win Super Bowl

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly speaks during a news conference, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) placed the state’s first legal sports bet on Thursday, wagering $15 that the Kansas City Chiefs will win the Super Bowl this year. 

Kelly tweeted that she placed the bet at the Hollywood Casino in Kansas City, Kan. 

“Let’s just say that I’m really hoping the @Chiefs win the Super Bowl this season — even more than usual,” she said. 

The Kansas City Star’s Aarón Torres reported that the $15 bet was in honor of the jersey number of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. He said the odds on the bet were 10-1. 

Kelly said in remarks at the casino that she has heard from Kansans across the state every day that they were “counting down the hours” until they can legally wager on sports and that she is “so glad” the moment has come. 

Kelly signed bipartisan legislation making sports betting legal in the state in May and announced last month that the betting would begin on Sept. 1, just in time for the start of the NFL season, the Kansas City Star reported

Kelly is in the midst of what is expected to be a tough reelection campaign against Republican state Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

Kelly is the only incumbent Democratic governor running for reelection this year in a state that voted for former President Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Control of the governor’s mansion in Kansas has shifted back and forth between Republicans and Democrats over the past several decades. 

Kelly has also expressed interest in luring the Chiefs out of Missouri and into Kansas, potentially offering economic incentives. The Star reported that the franchise’s current lease at the Truman Sports Complex does not expire until 2031. 

Chiefs President Mark Donovan has said that the team has considered “options” in Kansas. 

The American Gaming Association reports that 30 states, plus Washington, D.C., have active, legal sports betting markets. The Supreme Court struck down a federal law banning sports betting in most states in 2018.

State Watch