Kansas legal sports betting is poised to receive state authorization before the end of the 2022 legislative session. On Friday, lawmakers in the House finally voted to pass SB84 after a tumultuous overnight session.
The bill aims to welcome in-person and legal mobile sports betting across the state. It is a House substitute for an earlier measure that passed in the Senate last year.
Legal Betting Under SB84
Under the measure, all four of Kansas’ casinos would be eligible for sportsbook licenses. Approved licensees would then get the green light to pursue partnerships with up to three domestic operators.
Revenue taxes for all in-state wagers will start at 10%, a figure that could grow should the industry outperform expectations.
The structure of this bill is very similar to what was pitched by state Senators in 2021. However, there are a few distinctions between the two measures.
Firstly, the House substitute for SB84 includes provisions for the development of several professional sports teams in the state.
In addition to funding for programs to prevent white-collar crime and problem gambling, SB84 delegates 80% of leftover revenues towards the courting of a new professional sports team.
Recently, news broke that the Kansas City Chiefs were scouting for a new home base. As one of the most well-regarded teams in the NFL, several states are scrambling to earn the team’s favorability.
Major Changes To Bill Language
And while such provisions stand to reinvigorate Kansas’ entertainment infrastructure, some lawmakers aren’t sold. Furthermore, some feel slighted by the sudden change.
Rep. John Carmichael, a democratic proponent of sports betting in Wichita, shared his perspective on the matter and said the following:
“I don’t know what happened in the majority party’s caucus, but I know that in my caucus, there wasn’t any mention ever about 80% of the money going to build a new sports stadium, presumably in the Wyandotte or Johnson County area… sadly, I feel like someone was pulling a fast one on me…”
SB84 only passed the Kansas House with a 63-49 vote, the bare minimum needed for a bill to cross over. And while the Senate did review the measure, the group adjourned its meeting without movement.
The group of lawmakers will reconvene later this month, which could return some light to the prospect of passage. Still, the state has several pressing matters to consider before the legislative session’s end in May.
Nonetheless, state senators would be wise to see the sports betting measure through. With Midterm Elections just around the corner, SB84 could be a saving grace for several incumbents who could soon lose their chairs.
Bettors in Kansas can still wager on major sports events using offshore sportsbook sites. On our legal online sportsbook reviews page, you can find all the information necessary to start betting the safe way.
Source: Fox 4 KC