Kansas House of Representatives.

  • Senate Bill 84 that would regulate mobile and retail sportsbooks in Kansas failed in the House on Tuesday after receiving Senate approvals.
  • The proposal could still come back for a second vote before the legislative session ends in May.
  • There is another proposal to regulate a digitized sports betting industry in Kansas through House Bill 2444, which is open to discussions in the House.

TOPEKA, Kan. – A Kansas sports betting bill that passed in the Senate failed in the House on Tuesday, possibly killing its chances of becoming law in the state. Senate Bill 84 to regulate sports gaming in Kansas had it all, but in the end, the House went against it with a vote of 48 YEAS and 71 NAYS in the Committee of the Whole.

This may not be the end of the bill though, as it could return to the House for another vote but it would have to be called back before May when the 2021 session comes to an end in the state.

The Journey Of Senate Bill 84

Senate Bill 84 passed in the Senate on March 3 with a vote of 26 YEAS and 12 NAYS. It was formally introduced in the House on March 10. It was then recommended on March 26 that the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs review it for passage. Following a number of amendments, it was rejected by the Committee of the Whole on Tuesday.

KS SB 84 would have made mobile sportsbooks a regulated industry in Kansas as well as retail sports betting. Casino establishments would be able to have a maximum of three mobile sports wagering operators. These platforms would be taxed at 10% on all GGR and land-based locations would see a 7.5% rate on all revenue from sports betting handle.

“This would generate revenue for what we could use for services that are very important in Kansas, like funding our public schools, and social services that Kansans rely on,” said Representative Brandon Woodard, (D-Lenexa).

What’s Next For Kansas Sports Betting Legislation?

Because Senate Bill 84 is not officially dead, it could be called back, especially when discussions for House Bill 2444 begin. This newer proposal is one that embraces a digitized market. There would be mobile sports betting applications but all retail venues would not be regular sportsbooks, instead, having terminals within the locations to wager on sports. The Kansas Lottery would be in complete control of the industry with HB KS 2444.

The two bills would be compared to one another by the Kansas Legislature to try and find the best regulated sports betting bill for the state. While Senate Bill 84 offers tax rates on revenue, House Bill 2444 does not, as they have been left open for lawmakers to decide. Governor Laura Kelly would like to see higher rates than what Senate Bill 84 proposes for the benefit of the economy in Kansas.

During the 2020 legislative session, very similar events occurred. Two bills to open Kansas sports betting were at odds. One had passed in the chamber but went no further because amendments requested by Governor Kelly did not take place.

Another bill was introduced that was more to the liking of the Governor’s office but lawmakers in the legislature were not in favor of it. The 2021 legislative session in Kansas in regards to sports betting regulation is beginning to feel a lot like Groundhog Day.

Sports bettors in the state are hoping that Senate Bill 84 will come back for another vote and this time it will be a favorable one, or House Bill 2444 moves forward within the two chambers. Either way, the Kansas State Legislature adjourns on May 15, giving them less than two months to decide on the sports wagering industry in Kansas and whether or not to allow for a regulated one to open.

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