Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation awaiting federal decision on Tribal sports betting

June 6, 2023
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A case that has advanced from Florida to the federal courts will determine whether mobile app betting violates laws that limit gaming to Tribal land.

Kansas’ Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation was approved to launch sports betting when the state legalized wagering on sports in 2022, but the Tribe’s plans could be restricted by a new federal court case.

The Sunflower State has given all four of its federally recognized Tribes the authority to negotiate with Governor Laura Kelly regarding the provision of sports betting, but the Prairie Band specifically is looking to amend its gaming compact to include an app.

Legislature voted to approve the Tribe’s request to offer sports betting via mobile app, with the condition that the web server hosting the platform will be on Tribal land. However, this specification regarding servers has sparked controversy in other states.

Kansas Senator Tom Holland called the issue “complicated stuff.” He said, “I do believe this was brought forth and the state negotiated in good faith with the Tribe to get this done."

A dispute, which began between the state of Florida’s non-Tribal casino and the Seminole Tribe, has advanced through the federal court system. This could limit not only where the Seminoles may operate sports betting apps, but also restrict where individuals in Kansas can place bets via the Prairie Band or any potential app.

The Seminole Tribe’s approved server was hosted on Tribal land, but allowed for app-based betting from anywhere in the state. US District Court Judge, Dabney Friedrich, ruled that mobile betting on land that was not owned by the Tribe violated federal law.

Both the Tribe and President Joe Biden’s administration have appealed the case to the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia; the future ruling of that case will affect Kansas’ Tribal sports betting offerings.

The Prairie Band Potawatomi’s amended compact will allow the Tribe to offer sports betting in a similar arrangement to what is decided for Florida’s Seminole Tribe. Sports betting in Kansas is currently available within state-owned casinos.

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