- Kansas Senate introduces bill that would legalize sports betting in the state
- Each of the state’s four casinos would open their own sportsbooks along with the ability to partner with three online platforms apiece
- Similar bills have been introduced in the past before ultimately failing
Could Kansas become the next state to legalize sports betting? It’s certainly trending in that direction. On Tuesday, the state Senate introduced a bill that would allow the state’s four casinos to open up and operate their own sportsbooks. The legislation is also calling for as many as 12 legal internet-based sports betting options to open up.
In addition to opening their own land-based sportsbooks, each of Kansas’ four casinos would also be allowed to team up with another three online providers. Kansas’ Native American tribes would also be able to renegotiate their own pacts with the state government in order to allow for them to open own sports betting platforms.
Kansas Has Tried in the Past
Kansas City’s Kansas Speedway would be allowed to open a sports betting area for online wagering, but it would not be allowed to accept in-person bets. The Hollywood Casino, which is next door to the speedway, would be able to take wagers.
Kansas has tried and failed to legalize sports betting over the past couple of years, but this latest bill is the first to be introduced so far this year. A bill was seemingly on the verge of passing last year, but it ultimately failed as lawmakers rushed to deal with the fallout of the pandemic instead.
The Kansas Lottery would assume an oversight position if the bill became law. The state lottery currently operates each of the state’s four casinos. A few state lawmakers pushed for the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission to oversee Kansas’ sports betting operations. That is one of the many items that will have to be discussed as lawmakers try to figure out how to best proceed.
The newest bill calls for a 7.5 percent tax on in-person bets and a 10 percent tax on online bets. That is actually well below the average tax rate charged in the states that already offer legal sports betting. This bill does not touch on other fees for licensing and other matters.
It also comes as no surprise that the Kansas legislation does not currently have any restrictions when it comes to wagering on college sports. Kansas is not home to any major league professional sports team, with the University of Kansas and Kansas State University attracting the majority of interest from locals. However, the bill does have some leeway for certain regulators if they do choose to impose certain limits on college sports betting.
The bill says that any person placing a legal sports bet in Kansas would have to be at least 21-years-old while also being physically located within state lines. If the law passes, bettors will be allowed to sign up, deposit, and place their bets from anywhere within the state.
The Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs introduced the bill and will assume jurisdiction over it. Lawmakers may begin to discuss the bill as early as February. Various committees would have to approve of the bill if it continues to advance before a full Senate vote would take place on the matter. The Kansas House of Representatives would then have to sign off on the exact same bill before it goes to the desk of Governor Laura Kelly.