The Kansas State Senate has passed Senate Bill 84. This bill proposed an expansion of the Lottery to include sports wagering. The bill passed with flying colors through the senate as it won by a 26-12 margin.
Kansas becomes one of several states to get a bill passed by a single state chamber this year, joining Georgia as the most recent to do so. Now, all eyes will be looking towards the House of Representatives and then the Governor.
Senate Bill 84
The Senate Bill will be giving the Kansas Lottery the ability to contract out sports wagering. These sportsbook licenses will be through the state’s four casinos, with each one having a maximum of three mobile sportsbook operators and one retail sportsbook.
One big point here is that the bill explicitly states that online and mobile wagering is allowed, which includes online casinos and sportsbooks. This opens the doors for massive operators like DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, William Hill, and more to apply for licenses.
The legal sports wagering age is set at 21, which differs from the Kansas Lottery legal playing age, which is 18. It is also noted that sportsbooks must allow players the ability to restrict themselves from placing wagers to help with responsible gambling.
The tax rate will 5.5% for online casinos and 8% for online sportsbooks within the state. That money would then be split between education and a fund to help those struggling with gambling addictions.
Can the Bill Pass the House?
It looks like this bill has some legs to stand on in Kansas. It is possible that the House passes this bill. However, one thing to note is that the tax rate is quite a bit lower than what we have seen from other states in 2021. Georgia and Florida are both floating tax rates of 16-20 percent on revenue, more than double what Kansas is proposing.
It is very possible those in the House believe that the state should be getting more out of sports betting and will want to raise said tax rate.
When Could Sports Betting Start in Kansas?
If everything goes smoothly, it is not inconceivable to have sports betting launch sometime in late 2021. Sportsbooks would have to get deals done with the casinos and be approved by the lottery. However, this does not need to take a massive amount of time, as many of these online sportsbooks have been through this process a dozen times now.
It really would come down to red tape and how fast the bureaucratic process can unfold in Kansas. We have seen some states, like Tennessee and Louisiana, demonstrate that not even a year plus is enough to get launched. Meanwhile, Virginia and Michigan had smooth and quick launches, even during a pandemic.
Kansas will most likely want a part of the NFL action, so the 2021 NFL season should be a target date if this bill passes quickly through the House and Governor.