Kansas continues to look into legalizing sports betting, and the Kansas Senate is currently leading that charge. State Senate Bill 84 was introduced at the end of January, and that bill appears to be getting plenty of support from lawmakers.
However, there has been some recent opposition to the bill as more people are hoping to be approved to offer sports betting. Kansas sports betting would likely be a huge revenue source, and many people want in on the action.
In 2020, a similar push was made to legalize sports betting, but that bill eventually died before an official vote was taken. As several surrounding states are also looking into the possibility of sports betting, there is some pressure on Kansas to get something done.
During a hearing of State Senate Bill 84, some opposition was formally presented, but not against sports betting itself. It appears that everyone is on board to legalize the industry, but there will still be some debates that will occur.
Most people don’t think of Kansas when they think of the best sporting states, but there are enough teams to drive sports betting.
Lottery Retailers Want In
The initial proposal only allows for the four commercial casinos in the state to obtain a sports betting license. These properties would be able to offer both retail and online sports betting, but that would leave a very limited amount of options in Kansas.
Retailers that can sell lottery tickets are lobbying for the chance to be included in any official sports betting law. There are more than 1,000 of these locations throughout the state, and the hope is that they will be included in sports betting.
Sportsbooks have already started to partner with casinos in Kansas, and they are not willing to allow lottery retailers to get in on the action.
Details of the Bill
The sports betting bill calls for a 7.5% tax on all in-person bets and a 10% tax on all online wagers. Each sportsbook would be required to submit an application fee of $250,000 to be considered for a license.
Another critical part of this deal is that betting on college sporting events would be legal. The Kansas Jayhawks and Kansas State Wildcats are two extremely popular teams throughout the state, and the inclusion of this clause would likely result in significant betting action on those programs.
Still Long Process Ahead
The Senate will continue focusing on Bill 84 over the next few weeks, and nothing official will be done until February 24. There could still be some amendments made before the final bill is presented, but it’s not likely that they will change the list of approved operators.
The Kansas House of Representatives is also planning to introduce a bill, and they will likely include lottery retailers and horse racing tracks in their proposal. That could cause a major issue later on as both groups will push for their version of the bill to get passed.
Sports betting in Kansas does feel like a certainty, but it could take a while before a final decision is reached.