Sports betting has gotten one step closer to becoming legal in the state of Kansas, as earlier this week a bill seeking to expand the local gambling sector by adding both retail and online sports betting services was given the green light by the House.
In the mid-week, the proposed piece of legislation faced an obstacle and stalled in the House Federal and State Affairs committee, when the commissioners did not take action to give it the green light due to amendment disagreements. However, on Wednesday, House leadership saved the sports betting bill by pulling the bill from the Federal and State Affairs committee and placing it on the calendar for further consideration.
Eventually, the House decided to replace Senate Bill 84 with the provisions of House Bill 2740 after such an amendment was proposed by Representative John Barker. The piece of legislation passed the House chamber of the Kansas Legislature with 88 votes in favor and 36 votes against it.
Tom Sawyer, the House Minority leader, has noted that local people are currently betting on sports, with many of them not even realizing it is not legally permitted in the state. According to Mr. Sawyer, it was high time for the Kansas lawmakers to officially expand the state’s gambling industry and provide local people with the chance to do it legally by making sure the new form of gambling is properly regulated and taxed. He further noted that the aforementioned bill was not perfect but it was a compromise that should be enough to make sports betting legal in Kansas.
Legal Sports Betting Could Bring Kansas between $6 and $10 Million in Tax Revenue Annually, According to Estimates
The aforementioned bill has been widely supported by the state’s gambling sector.
Under the contents of Senate Bill 84, sports betting would be officially allowed under under the Kansas Expanded Lottery Act, which was passed three years ago. If the proposed bill gets the green light, sports betting would be legally permitted at Kansas-based casinos, racetracks, and local convenience stores. The new form of gambling would also become available online.
The proposed piece of legislation allows betting on sports by establishing a relationship between gaming facility managers, who would manage sports betting on-site or through online platforms or mobile apps, and the Kansas Lottery, which would act as a regulatory body.
Apart from regulation of the sector, proper taxation is also needed. Under the proposed piece of legislation, Kansas would receive 14% of in-person bets placed in the state and 20% of the online gambling revenue. According to preliminary estimates, the legalization of sports betting would generate tax revenue of between $6 million and $10 million for the state on an annual basis.
A similar bill was passed by the Missouri House last week in an effort seeking to legalize sports betting in the state. Now, the Kansas bill is set to go to the state Senate, where senators and representatives are set to discuss the potential differences in the proposed measures of the two Legislature chambers.