Kansas Again Attempts To Allow Sports Betting

Another effort is being made by Kansas to allow sports betting.

State Senate Bill 84, introduced by the Federal and State Affairs Committee this week, is almost similar to the legislation introduced last year, except that three skins instead of two will now be allowed to function under each lottery manager.

Boot Hill Casino (Dodge City), Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway (Kansas City), Kansas Crossing Casino & Hotel (Pittsburg) and Kansas Star Casino (Mulvane) are four commercial casinos in Kansas. According to the bill, three skins will be allocated to each, totalling 12 skins overall.

Tribal casinos to renegotiate their compacts

There are also five tribal casinos in the state, and they will be willing to renegotiate their compacts to include sports betting under the plan.

Online and retail sports betting under the Senate bill will be provided and controlled by the Kansas Lottery. As of Friday, no House bill had been filed.

Alternative revenue source

Many are looking at sports betting as states look to find alternative revenue sources. A neighbour to the west, Colorado, has a booming market for sports betting that was introduced on May 1. It has taken wagers of nearly $1.2 billion since it went online.

This session, Missouri, to the east of Kansas, would again discuss sports betting legislation. After voter approval in November, Nebraska is looking to add casinos and it is likely that the bill will include sports betting. Oklahoma, to the south, before expanding its gaming options, has tribal compacts to remember.

Some other SB 84 details:

  • The bill would place a 7.5% tax for in-person sports bets and a 10% rate for online wagers, which compares favourably with the rates in some of the top states with legal sports betting. Local taxes would vary depending on where the casino is located. There is an application fee of $250,000, but other licensing fees were not addressed in the bill.
  • The Kansas Speedway in Kansas City will hold two NASCAR events in 2021, in May and October. The track could also open a designated sports betting area for online wagering, but would not be allowed to take in-person wagers, according to the bill. The Hollywood Casino next to the track could take in-person bets, though.
  • The bill allows for college sports betting, both in-state and out-of-state events. Betting on the University of Kansas and Kansas State University sports would be allowed, along with other Division I programs.
  • You need to be 21 or older to place a bet in Kansas.

What’s next for the bill from the Senate?

At present, the bill is with the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs. It will probably meet for further discussion and analysis early next month. Should the bill pass through committee, until a vote in the full Senate, it could face further scrutiny by other committees.

The State House will still need to vote on the bill and it would be submitted to Gov. Laura Kelly if both chambers support it.

Before any bets are placed, state officials will need to finalise regulations. On or before Oct. 31, the legislation will require regulators to fill out regulations.