There was a massive vote this week to legalize sports betting in the state of Kansas. The bill originated in the Senate and passed with ease. It headed over to the State House, where there were mixed feelings on if the bill had a chance. However, the votes are in, and the House overwhelmingly voted against sports betting with 77 Nays versus only 40 Yays on the vote.
While this is not the complete end of the bill, it is obviously not looking good with such a massive 2 to 1 vote against it. The bill will most likely head to a committee to be worked on and hopefully, change whatever lawmakers are so upset about with this bill.
What Did the Bill Promise?
The original bill that was passed by the Senate allowed for online sports betting throughout the state. The Kansas Lottery would have the ability to oversee and regulate sports betting as well as run its own sports betting platforms.
Operators would need to partner with the in-state casinos as each casino would be given three mobile sports betting licenses to use. This would allow for 12 online operators plus a potential operator with the Lottery.
The tax rate for online sports betting would be 8% on gross revenue, rather low compared to other states, and 5% on online casino games. This may have been a place that the House felt the bill just did not work, as many other states are passing bills with 15-20% tax on gross revenue.
How Kansas Can Still Legalize
At this point, Kansas will need a new or majorly revised bill in the House for it to pass this section of State Congress. This will be a long process, but there is some slight hope for those supporting sports betting. However, even if it does pass the House, then the two legislative branches will then need to compare and revise the bills to match as the two have passed separate sports betting bills.
This makes sports betting’s chances of getting legalized in Kansas extremely bleak. Regardless, there is still a chance in 2021, and if things do not materialize, this same process will begin over again in 2022, most likely with even more steam. Each year Kansas’ bid for sports betting has grown stronger, and as more states legalize, it will put more pressure on Kansas to also partake in the revenue machine that is sports wagering.
In a quote provided by KSNT, one of the major backers, Representative Brandon Woodard, said, “This would generate revenue for what we could use for services that are very important in Kansas, like funding our public schools, and social services that Kansans rely on.”
It seems the backers are still pushing on the fact that Kansas is simply losing revenue by not allowing sports betting. A good sign that a revised tax percentage and higher licensing fees could move some representatives to the yes aisle on this issue.