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Kansas House of Representatives Approve Sports Betting Bill After Wild Week

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Updated Apr 2, 2022 · 6:01 AM PDT

Duke forward Paolo Banchero cutting down the nets
Duke forward Paolo Banchero celebrates after Duke defeated Arkansas in a college basketball game in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA men's tournament in San Francisco, Saturday, March 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
  • The Kansas House of Representatives approved a legalized sports betting bill late last night
  • The bill still needs to be approved by the Senate
  • The Kansas legislative body is now on a recess until April 25

Kansas sports betting is inching ever so closer.

The culmination of a wild week of hearings and conference committees saw the Kansas House of Representatives approve a sports betting bill to legalize retail and online sports betting by the slimmest of margins early Saturday morning. The House approved the bill by a vote of 63-50, taken just after midnight, and hours after legislators compromised on the final version of the document Friday afternoon.

Kansas Sports Betting By The Fall?

If approved by the Senate and signed into law by Gov. Laura Kelly (D), sports betting could potentially launch as soon as this football season. It has been expected that Kelly would be in favor of signing a sports betting bill into law.

Rep. Stephanie Clayton (D-19) told Sports Betting Dime on Friday afternoon that both the Senate and House had agreed to the conference committee’s compromise and would both likely pass the bill.

The House took action, but the Senate adjourned early Saturday morning without taking a vote on the bill. On her social media feed, Clayton said she’s confident the Senate  will  take up the bill when they return later this month.

Sports Betting Bill Details

The House approved sports betting bill will set the online and retail sports betting tax rate at 10% each and set the minimum age of participation at 21. The bill states that sports betting will be allowed as soon as its deemed feasible, but permanent sports betting rules and regulations must be approved by Jan. 1, 2023.

The Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission will oversee sports betting in the state. The bill will allow for sports betting on professional events, collegiate events, motor race events, and any special athletic event deemed appropriate by the racing and gaming commission. Dog racing will not be included in the bill, a point the House had hoped to include in the document but something the Senate insisted on keeping out.

Interestingly, one of the amendments the bill includes will earmark up to 80% to a fund designed to attract professional sports team to come to Kansas. This comes just several days after Kansas City Chiefs President Mark Donovan said he would be amenable to moving the franchise to Kansas.

The bill will allow up to three online sports betting operators per each of the four Kansas casinos. Originally, the bill only called for one allowable partnership, but was later amended to allow for three to model the Senate sports betting bill. In addition to state casinos, Kansas Native American Tribes will have the opportunity to amend their gaming compacts to allow for retail or online sports betting at their facilities.

The sports betting bill will also allow sports betting kiosks to be placed in facilities. The bill allows for up to 50 partnerships with retailers, as well as professional sports franchises, to install these sports betting kiosks. The only professional sports franchise in the state is MLS Sporting Kansas City.

Several other amendments were approved and tacked onto the bill, including an amendment to earmark 2% of sports betting tax revenue to a state problem gaming fund.

The legislative bodies agreed to several other compromises on the bill earlier in the day:

  • The Kansas lottery will not be allowed to sell lottery tickets online in this bill
  • Historical Horse Racing machines (a maximum of 1,000) will be allowed in a single facility in Sedgwick County
  • In a win for sportsbooks, free play and promotional money will be tax exempt
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