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Kansas Senate Rejects Conference Committee Report on Sports Betting Bill

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Updated Apr 27, 2022 · 3:01 PM PDT

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji shooting a jumper
Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji (30) shoots over Villanova forward Jermaine Samuels during the second half of a college basketball game in the semifinal round of the Men's Final Four NCAA tournament, Saturday, April 2, 2022, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • The Kansas Senate rejected a conference committee report on the state’s sports betting bill 
  • Kansas sports betting bill will now head back to the conference committee
  • The bill is not dead according to a Kansas legislator

Doubts started to creep in about the Senate approval of a Kansas sports betting bill, and those doubts have been confirmed. The Kansas Senate rejected the conference committee report on the sports betting bill and have sent the legislation back to another conference committee.

The Kansas Senate officially did not adopt the conference committee report tonight. It sent the bill back to committee and appointed Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau (D-29), Sen. Mike Petersen (R-28), and Sen. Robert Olson (R-23) as second conferees to serve in the committee.

Kansas Sports Betting Vote Delayed at Best

It’s a surprising turn of events, but not one that was completely unseen. Earlier in the week, Rep. Stephanie Clayton (D-19), a proponent of sports betting and a driving force behind the bill’s approval in the House, told Sports Betting Dime that rumors on the Senate potentially not voting on the sports betting bill had cropped up this week.

Clayton assured Sports Betting Dime tonight that the bill was not dead, but did not comment further. She did note on her Twitter account the conference committees, including one for sports betting, would continue to meet tonight.

It had been reported earlier this month that both the House and Senate agreed to the conference committee compromise of the sports betting bill and would both approve the document. The House approved the bill by a vote of 63-50 on April 2, taken just after midnight, and hours after legislators compromised on the final version of the document the day before.

Legislators believed the Senate would approve the bill before it went on a multi-week break, but that did not occur. Discussion on the sports betting bill will continue, as the Kansas legislative session is set to adjourn on May 20.

Kansas Sports Betting Bill Details

The House-approved sports betting bill sets the online and retail sports betting tax rate at 10% each and sets the minimum age of participation at 21. 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 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.

Several amendments were included during the conference committee compromise earlier in the month. 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. Additionally, 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 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.


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