Kansas Senate.

  • The Senate will now hear Senate Bill 84 to legalize sports betting as it’s been approved by the committee to move forward in the legislative process.
  • A similar House bill in House Bill 2199 is also expected to get floor time in the House after it receives committee approval.
  • The Kansas State Legislature adjourns on May 15 for 2021.

TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas’ Committee on Federal and State Affairs has decided to move forward with sports betting legislation on Wednesday that now gives Senate Bill 84 a spot on the Senate floor.

Amendments were made to the proposal before it was given the approval to go before the Senate. KS SB 84 is sponsored by the Committee on Federal and State Affairs that also greenlit its passage.

The New Senate Bill 84

Senate Bill 84 would make land-based and mobile sports wagering legal in Kansas. A number of amendments were heard in committee with six being agreed upon.

The original tax rate on GGR for retail sportsbooks was 7.5% but it has now been changed to 5.5% with 2% going toward addictive gambling initiatives. The state’s casinos already contribute 2% of their GGR to problem gambling programs.

Mobile sportsbooks that had a rate of 10% is now set at an amended 8%. The opposition for greyhound races and wagering on them was heard and the bill was changed to reflect that, appeasing those who expressed concerns on the pastime.

Other changes include an increase in the number of online operators one establishment could have, going from two skins to three skins.

The request for lottery retailers to be able to operate legal sports betting terminals at their locations statewide was denied before a majority vote on the bill pushed it to the Senate for consideration.

What’s Next For Kansas?

Kansas legal sports wagering has been a topic of conversation in the Kansas State Legislature for years, ever since the repeal of PASPA. The lowered tax rate on revenue may be something that lawmakers will disagree with when making a final decision as the 2020 session wanted to see a competitive rate for the industry so that it be a profitable one worth legalizing.

There is another sports gaming proposal within the legislature that mirrors in similarity to the Senate bill. House Bill 2199 is in the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs for now but may be more attractive to policymakers as it has a 14% tax rate on GGR for retail sportsbooks and a 20% rate for all mobile platforms.

One or both bills could receive approvals in both chambers and if both do, they will need to combine to find a happy medium before going to Governor Laura Kelly’s desk for signature. There are no scheduled dates for either proposal to be heard next but the Kansas State Legislature adjourns on May 15 so these bills should be heard on the floor much sooner than that.

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