Kansas is the latest state to explore the possibility of legalizing sports betting, as a bill has been introduced in the Senate. State Senate Bill 84 was introduced this week, and it is very similar to a bill that failed in 2020.
The state of Kansas has four commercial casinos currently in operation, and each of these properties would be given three sports betting skins if this bill passes. That would mean that Kansas could potentially have 12 sports betting operators in the state, but it will be a long time before any bets can be placed.
Each of the five Native American tribes in Kansas could also offer sports betting if this bill passes, but they would first have to negotiate a new gaming compact. The Kansas Lottery would be in charge of regulating and overseeing the industry, and online betting would also be offered.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has hurt the state financially, and lawmakers are hoping that this will allow the bill to gain more support this time around.
Details of SB 84
Under this proposal, bettors in the state would be able to wager on both professional and collegiate sporting events. The University of Kansas and Kansas State University would both be popular teams to bet on.
Retail sports betting revenue would be taxed at a rate of 7.5%, while online sports betting revenue would be taxed at 10%. A $250,000 licensing fee would be charged to each of the operators that were approved to offer sports betting.
Kansas Speedway would not be able to offer in-person betting under this law, but online wagers could be placed at this designated location.
The Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs is expected to meet early in the month of February to discuss the bill. That committee will then discuss and review the bill before taking an official vote.
Other committees could then choose to review the bill before it is put before an official vote in the Senate. The House would also have to approve the bill before it could become law.
There are still plenty of steps that will need to be taken, but there is hope that there is enough support to get something done this year.
Other States in Similar Position
Many states that surround Kansas are all looking into the possibility of legalizing sports betting as a new revenue source. States are also looking at the success of Colorado in that part of the country and hoping to duplicate what has been done there.
Missouri is also looking to pass a bill to legalize sports betting during this legislative session, but similar attempts have failed in the past. Oklahoma is currently re-negotiating tribal gaming compacts in hopes of getting sports betting launched.
Nebraska is another state hoping to offer sports betting, but there are more steps needed in that state. Voters approved the building of casinos last November, which could pave the way for retail sports betting to be offered.