Kansas Lawmakers Continue to Struggle with Sports Betting Legalization

Kansas Lawmakers Continue to Struggle with Sports Betting Legalization

Lawmakers in Kansas aim to legalize sports betting in the state, but there is significant friction on their path right now. This is mostly because of the details of the bill that could bend heavily towards companies managing casinos in the state.

Kansas sports fans want betting opportunity

The Kansas City Chiefs emerged victorious at the Super Bowl recently, which showed the immense potential of the state in facilitating sports betting. This Wednesday, the Senate voted 23-15 to approve a sports betting bill after a four-hour debate. The biggest hurdle in their way is an internal committee that is working on separate legislation that may be quite different from the one passed this week.

Kansas Lawmakers Continue to Struggle with Sports Betting Legalization

The Senate bill lets people in the state place bets on sporting events via four casinos managed in the state by private companies. They are working under contracts with the Kansas Lottery. These companies will be allowed to take wagers via mobile apps and online modes. It would also allow limited sales of state lottery tickets.

Are sports betting profitable for Kansas?

The supporters of the bills aren’t expecting a windfall from the sports betting operations for the state. They predict that even if the annual wagered amount reached $1 billion, the state would not gain more than a few million. This is because over 95% of the amount will go back to the players as winnings.

Senate Vice President Jeff Longbine commented,

“It certainly put us in a position where we can establish sports gaming in Kansas and pull, hopefully, pull, wagers from a black market, off-shore, unregulated, untaxed market and bring it into Kansas under a regulated, safe market.” The Republican-led support for the bill in the Senate during the debate.

The rival proposal will be heard next committee. Supported by the House committee, this bill will provide the state with a larger share of the sports betting handle. The bill will also allow several hundred retail stores, which already provide lottery tickets, to accept simple bets on sporting events. Barker said that the bill allows users to bet more easily as they can bet on any sport of their choice while buying their daily groceries.

The state also needs to decide if it favors the revival of dog and horse racing tracks. Though the existing state laws allow slot machines on these tracks, their stakes may be too high to turn a profit. The Senate has voted 18-17 against lowering tax rates for a racing park.

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