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Kansas Lawmakers Approve Retail, Online Sports Betting Bill

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Updated Apr 29, 2022 · 7:06 AM PDT

Patrick Mahomes celebrates a rushing TD
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) reacts after scoring on an 8-yard touchdown run during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)
  • The Kansas House and Senate both approved a sports betting bill in the past 24 hours
  • The bill will legalize Kansas retail and online sports betting 
  • Each of the state’s four casinos will be allowed to partner with up to three online sports betting operators

The Kansas Senate worked into the wee hours of Friday morning and approved a sports betting bill, just hours after being sent the legislation by the House, and is now on the precipice of legalized Kansas sports betting.

The Kansas Senate approved the bill 21-13 hours after the House approved the bill 73-49. The document will be sent to Gov. Laura Kelly’s desk, which she is fully expected to sign into law. The bill will legalize online and retail sports betting for the four state casinos and allow each of them to partner with up to three online sports betting operators. 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.

Casinos will also be able to partner with up to 50 additional locations, including professional sports franchises, to install sports betting kiosks. Currently, the only professional franchise in the state is MLS Sporting Kansas City, but lawmakers are hoping this bill can help lure other teams to relocate to Kansas.

Kansas Sports Betting Details

A 10% sports betting tax for both retail and online sports betting will be levied. The law is expected to bring in nearly $10 million annually in taxes, of which 80% will be earmarked to lure professional sports franchises to relocate to the state.

The bill states that sports betting will be allowed as soon as it’s deemed feasible, but permanent sports betting rules and regulations must be approved by Jan. 1, 2023. The state is expected to launch sports betting in late 2022 or early 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.

Historical horse racing machines (a maximum of 1,000) will be allowed in a single facility in Sedgwick County.

Free play and promotional moneys will be tax exempt for sportsbooks as well.

The End of a Strange Week in Kansas

It put an end to a tumultuous sports betting week in the Kansas legislature. Rumors cropped up on Tuesday that the Kansas Senate may not approve the sports betting bill, and those fears seemed to come true Wednesday as the Senate surprisingly rejected a conference committee report and sent the legislation back to another conference committee.

At the time, Rep. Stephanie Clayton (D-19) assured Sports Betting Dime that the bill was not dead, but did not go into any further details on its future.

On Thursday afternoon, whispers started to come out of the statehouse that the bill would likely be taken up by the House soon, and on Friday afternoon it was brought to the floor and approved.

Several concessions were made by both the House and Senate in the second conference committee. Of which, both sides agreed to allow the Department of Commerce to direct of the fund to lure sports franchises to Kansas .

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