- The Kansas House of Representatives approved a sports betting bill today
- The Senate must approve an identical bill before it is sent to the governor
- If approved, retail and online sports betting will be legal in Kansas
Kansas sports betting took a huge step forward today.
One day after the Federal and State Affairs Committee could not move HB 2740 out of committee, the House of Representatives took the bill up and approved the legislation by a vote of 88-36. It now moves to a conference committee.
House Approves Sports Betting Bill
Despite not being voted out of committee yesterday, the House worked around this snag and amended a Senate sports betting bill (SB 84) to include the details of HB 2740.
The conference committee will now attempt to work out differences between the House and Senate sports betting bills. The Senate must pass an identical version of the bill before it can be sent to the governor for approval. The House sports betting bill sets the online sports betting tax rate at 20% and retail sports betting at 14%. The Kansas Senate sports betting bill, which was introduced last year, calls for an online sports betting tax rate of 8% and 5.5% for retail sports betting. It’s the largest difference between the two legislative bills.
Rep. John Barker (D-70), who presented the bill to the House, recognized the extreme differences in tax rates between the House and Senate bills. He said a consensus would have to be reached “somewhere in the middle” before the bill was approved and signed into law.
A controversial iLottery clause, which would have enabled the Kansas lottery to selling lottery tickets online, was removed from the bill, Rep. Stephanie Clayton (D-19) told Sports Betting Dime.
“I am very pleased to see the passage of sports wagering through the Kansas House. It is my hope that the Senate will also vote in favor of this legislation so we can have this on the governor’s desk as soon as possible,” she said.
Sports Betting Bill Details
If approved and signed into law, 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.
The bill would allow up to three online sports betting operators per Kansas casino. Originally, the bill only called for one allowable partnership, but was later amended to allow for three to model the Senate sports betting bill.
The House 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.
Severally amendments were approved by the House and tacked onto the bill, including an amendment to earmark 2% of sports betting tax revenue to a state problem gaming fund.
Additional Bill Details
In addition to state casinos, Kansas Native American Tribes would have the opportunity to amend their gaming compacts to allow for retail or online sports betting at their facilities.
The sports betting bill also includes the following:
- State casinos would be required to give $100,000 to the Problem Gambling and Addictions Grant Fund each year.
- The minimum age to participate in sports betting will be 21.
- Historic Horse Racing machines will be legalized. They will be limited to one location in Sedgewick County, with a maximum amount of 1,000 machines.
- The House bill will not allow for promotional write offs or deductions of the federal excise tax for online sports betting operators. The Senate bill does.