Boyd Gaming sues the state of Kansas

May 16, 2022

The move comes after the state legalized mobile betting.

The road to freedom is rarely a smooth one. So found out Kansas when, after legalizing sports betting on Thursday, the state was almost immediately sued by Boyd Gaming. The Las Vegas-based company – which operates state-owned casino Kansas Star – maintains that, in allowing sports betting, the state is in breach of contract.  

The defendants in the suit are the state as well as the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission and the lottery.  

The bill, passed with bipartisan support, was signed into law on Thursday by Governor Laura Kelly. It is due to allow mobile betting at the four state-owned casinos dotting Kansas, as well as in up to 50 locations chosen by each casino. 

Boyd’s contention is actually rooted in a defunct dog track in the Wichita area. It claims that the state lottery is, by legal agreement, not permitted to allow competition from facilities similar to casinos. The new law, though, will seek to revitalize the dog park, which closed in 2007, by installing 1,000 historic horse racing machines. 

These devices, the state claims, are racing machines, while Boyd claims they are slots. The latter is, in theory, illegal. 

In the suit, the company is hoping that the state will have to pay the $25m penalty figure (plus interest) that is specified in its contract with the state.  

In a statement the company said the following: “Boyd has lived up to its obligations, successfully operated the Kansas Star and invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Kansas Star based on the state’s contractual promise.” 

Despite the friction, Boyd Gaming maintains that it is behind legalized mobile betting in Kansas.


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