Kentucky Legislature

  • Kansas’ HB 2740 advanced through the House on Wednesday and now faces a May 20 deadline for passage.
  • Kentucky’s HB 606 also recently advanced to the Senate.
  • A pair of sports betting bills in Georgia – both of which would create ballot questions, one on sports betting and one on general gambling restrictions – have less than a week to pass.

TOPEKA, Kan. – As 2022 heads into the spring and summer months, a few states – including Kansas, Georgia, and Kentucky – are making progress on sports betting bills.

Kansas’ HB 2740 Passes House Vote, Faces May 20 Deadline In Senate

Kansas’ sports betting bill, HB 2740, passed through a vote 85-32 in the House of Representatives on Wednesday. The bill heads to the Senate floor, where it faces a May 20 deadline for passage.

On Tuesday, Kansas’ Representatives debated a variety of amendments to HB 2740. Several of these amendments were introduced by committee Chairman John Barker.

These included a provision to alter language on “gray machines” (unregulated gambling devices), a provision requiring 20% of sportsbooks’ marketing agreements to be with non-profit or fraternal organizations, and another provision that made more minor alterations to the language of the bill. Each of these amendments was approved.

Another amendment – introduced by Rep. Jo Ella Hoye on behalf of the NFL – prevents sportsbooks from offering betting odds on injuries, penalties, disciplinary hearings, and replay reviews. The amendment received mixed support but passed anyway.

With the new slate of approved amendments attached to the bill, the Kansas Senate will be next up to debate the bill and put it to a vote. It is unlikely that any of the approved amendments will change any Senators’ perception of the Kansas sports betting bill.

Kansas’ legislators are likely motivated to get sports betting launched by a variety of factors, including the incredible success that legal sports betting has been in the states it has launched.

Nearby Missouri’s effort to legalize and regulate sports betting also factors into the present push for sports betting in Kansas. If HB 2740 passes in the Senate, Kansas will likely look to get sportsbooks launched prior to the beginning of the NFL’s regular season, by far the biggest moneymaker at regulated online sportsbooks.

Pair Of Sports Betting Bills Face Uncertain Future In Georgia

In Atlanta, a pair of Georgia sports betting bills are facing a fast-approaching April 4 deadline for passage.

The first of these bills is SR 135, which would create a ballot question for voters to decide if they would like to remove current gambling restrictions.

The other bill is SB 142, which would similarly create a ballot question – this time to ask voters explicitly if they wish to legalize and regulate sports betting in Georgia.

Either of the two bills, if passed, would create a ballot question that could directly lead to the legalization and regulation of sports betting if approved by Georgia’s voters.

SR 135’s language is much broader – this bill, if approved by the legislature and voters, would remove several gambling restrictions (covering a variety of gambling activities, from sports betting to horse racing) from Georgia’s lawbooks.

On the other hand, SB 142 is much more specific – that bill only covers sports betting.

The pair of bills have less than a week to pass before both chambers of the Georgia legislature adjourn on April 4. If they fail to do so in that time period, sports betting will be put on hold in Georgia until at least the next legislative session.

Georgia is one of just a handful of states that has yet to regulate sports betting at all and has the eighth-largest population in the United States. States with a similar population level and open sports betting markets – such as Pennsylvania – routinely generate monthly sports betting revenue figures over $20 million, giving lawmakers plenty of incentive to get at least one of the bills across the finish line.

Kentucky Sports Betting Bill Looks Likely To Pass

While other states are facing uncertain futures of their sports betting bills, sports bettors of Kentucky have plenty of reason to be optimistic about their sports betting bill, HB 606.

HB 606 has already passed through the Kentucky House of Representatives by a 58-30 vote.

It is now on the Senate floor, where lawmakers will have a few legislative days to discuss and vote on the sports betting bill ahead of their April 14 deadline.

The bill would regulate and legalize sports betting as well as online poker and daily fantasy sports. It has broad support from both constituents and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and is expected to pass prior to April 14.

However, if it fails to do so, Kentucky-regulated sports betting, online poker, and daily fantasy sports will be put on hold.

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