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What Is Going on With the Kansas Sports Betting Bill?

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Updated Apr 26, 2022 · 11:58 AM PDT

Christian Braun drives to the hoop
Kansas' Christian Braun during the second half of a college basketball game in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA tournament Sunday, March 27, 2022, in Chicago. Kansas won 76-50 to advance to the Final Four. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
  • A Kansas legislator said there are rumors that the Senate may not vote on the state’s sports betting bill
  • The Kansas House passed the bill in early April
  • The Kansas legislative session will adjourn on May 20

Legalized Kansas sports betting is a Senate approval and governor signature away from becoming a reality. It seemed certain that the Senate would approve the bill when the legislature came back into session this week, but whispers are starting to come to the surface that a Senate vote on the bill may be in doubt.

The Senate came back into session on Monday, but sports betting was not discussed. The Senate is currently in session today, but sports betting is not on the day’s agenda and a vote isn’t expected to be taken this afternoon.

A Senate Vote Is Not Certain

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 through several text messages that the sports betting bill would not be brought up or voted on by the Senate today.

She continued and said there is confusion on when the bill could potentially be voted on, and even rumors that the bill “might not be voted on at all” by the Senate.

Clayton took to her Twitter page this morning and relayed similar comments to her followers.

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.

A request for comment from Sen. Ty Masterson (R-16), president of the Senate, was not returned.

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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