• Kansas is seeing a second sports betting bill up for legalization as one bill has already passed in the Senate.
  • Each proposal would make mobile and retail sportsbooks legal in Kansas but in different fashions.
  • The Kansas State Legislature will need to have their final decisions made on both bills by the time the 2021 session adjourns on May 15.

TOPEKA, Kan. – Lawmakers must’ve clicked those ruby slippers together because we’re back in the Kansas State Legislature with another sports betting bill that was introduced on Thursday. Kansas already has a bill that would legalize gambling on sporting events through Senate Bill 84, which has passed in the Senate and is in the process of being heard in the House for passage.

But here we are again, at square one with a new bill on the subject, despite the current progress of KS SB 84.

A similar event occurred in the 2020 session for Kansas legal sports betting. One bill had passed in one chamber when another bill was introduced. In the end, neither bill would end up moving forward as the second bill threw a wrench in the first proposal’s progression toward becoming law.

What’s In A Bill?

Senate Bill 84 just had its first hearing in the House on Thursday. It names the Kansas Lottery as the regulator for a market that would allow for land-based and mobile sportsbooks for sports bettors 21 and over in the state.

Both professional and college sports matchups would be open for betting under this proposal with a launch of the industry slated for 2022 should KS SB 84 be passed into law.

Brick-and-mortar venues are eligible for three mobile sportsbook operators a piece and will see a tax revenue rate of 5.5% on GGR at their facilities and a rate of 8% through their mobile platforms.

House Bill 2444 would make sports betting legal in Kansas through the Kansas Lottery Act. Professional sports teams and other businesses could apply for licenses to run mobile sports betting platforms. Retail locations would be equipped with terminals for sports wagering rather than have actual sportsbooks for betting.

The entire market would be a digitally-run one in a sense with the Kansas Lottery at the helm of it all, providing the kiosks to potential land-based establishments.

College and professional sports are eligible for betting with KS HB 2444. No tax rate percentages have been discussed as they’re open for the legislature to find the right balance for a profitable market once hearings begin.

What’s Next?

Hearings for both bills have not yet been placed on the schedule.

Legal sports betting has been something that Kansas has tried to acquire since PASPA was overturned in 2018. Residents of the state are avid sports bettors and without a state-sanctioned industry, that is money lost for the economy of Kansas.

The Kansas State Legislature has until May 15 to decide on the fate of these two bills.

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