Kansas state legislature.

  • KS SB 283 would make sports betting legal in Kansas but needs amendments by the House to pass.
  • The second bill, KS HB 2671 would also legalize sports betting and recently had a House Hearing but it has not yet moved as far along as KS SB 283.
  • The legislative session in Kansas adjourns on April 3.
  • House Bill 2671 could also lead to Greyhound racing making a comeback in the state
  • Bets placed under KS HB 2671 on your mobile device would be taxed at 20%, while bets placed at retail locations would see a tax rate of 14%.
  • KS SB 283 would tax mobile bets at 10% and retail bets at 7.5%

TOPEKA, Kan.House Bill 2671 would make sports betting legal in Kansas and had hearings with the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs on both Wednesday and Thursday.

The bill is the second one that is currently in Committee to legalize sports betting. No further action has been scheduled on the calendar as of Thursday afternoon for this House Bill.

Kansas House Bill 2671

Chair of the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs Representative John Barker is the person that helped create House Bill 2671 for Kansas. He worked alongside numerous people, including one or two affiliated with the Governor’s office.

It should be noted that Governor Laura Kelly had no hand in KS HB 2671 and has not expressed opinions about sports betting in general or a preference toward either bill that is in Committee.

On Wednesday, there were speakers that were for and against the House Bill. Provisions included within it state that greyhound tracks that are not currently in use could possibly reopen. There were speakers for this part of the bill.

“It is an honor to get to deal with these magnificent creatures each and every day,” said Tracy Wildey, operator of Seastrom Kennels. “I wish to express my support for House Bill 2671, primarily because it will give an opportunity for live, pari-mutuel greyhound racing to return to Kansas.”

There were also those that opposed the bill’s higher tax rates. Retail sportsbooks would see a tax rate of 14% on all sports betting revenue with internet and mobile platforms being taxed at 20%.

“All of which will reduce the incentive for those gaming illegally to transition to legal sports wagering in Kansas, which is one of the primary goals of this legislation,” said Whitney Damron of Hollywood Casino at the Kansas Speedway.

On Thursday, more issues arose at the second hearing. Again, it was Damron that spoke up for being against the bill but this time, it was more than just the tax issue that was pointed out.

“This bill has the Kansas Lottery as an owner, operator, regulator and competitor,” said Damron. “We don’t see this an appropriate model.”

Another problem that speakers were not in favor of was the idea of how many locations could come to fruition to offer sports bets should the bill come to pass. Over 1,200 retailers could potentially have access to allowing their customers to wager on the gambling of sporting events.

“With this bill, there could be sports betting in the grocery store, and there is no limit to the number of Lottery kiosks, “ said Kevin Fowler of Kansas Crossing and Kansas Star Casinos.

It would seem KS HB 2671 would need amendments just like KS SB 283 if it would like to continue its path through the Kansas State Legislature. The Senate bill has a tax rate of 7.5% for land-based sports betting lounges and a 10% rate for mobile sportsbooks.

One of the requested amendments would be for the House to raise these rates to be more competitive with other states.

Speaking With The Kansas Director Of Governmental Affairs

LegalSportsBetting asked a few questions regarding sports betting legalization in Kansas and this is what was learned. When asked if there were certain qualities that Governor Kelly is looking for when it comes to a bill on sports betting there was one thing in particular that the Governor would like to see.

“The Governor has made it clear that she would veto a bill without a narrowly tailored version of iLottery,” said the Director.

When asked if legal sports betting would occur this year or somewhere down the line the answer was “unknown at this time.” It was also said that no statements on the subject of legal sports betting are expected to be given at this time by Governor Kelly nor will a statement about her stance on the issue be made.

As for Senate Bill 283 and the amendments it requires by the House before moving to the Governor’s desk, it was said that many amendments have been mentioned and each will be evaluated individually on its merits.

The Bottom Line

With two separate sports betting bills in the Committee for consideration, there is a lot that needs to be done in a short period of time if Kansas wants to see legal sports betting in 2020.

There is less than a month left in the session and two bills are on the table. If Kansas wants to legally gamble on sporting events, many amendments need to occur within that timeframe for these bills to continue to progress. Neither bill is currently on the calendar to be heard at this time.

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