Senate Committee has agreed to the terms for a bill to allow sports betting in Kansas.

  • Legal sports betting in Kansas is inching its way to becoming a reality for residents.
  • Bill KS SB 283 has been discussed in length by the Senate Committee and has finally been written up well enough to be heard by the floor.
  • The bill makes both mobile and retail sportsbooks legal for Kansas sports bettors.

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Senate Committee has agreed to the terms of KS SB 283, a bill that would legalize sports betting in Kansas, allowing it to move forward for further discussions.

The first hearing for KS SB 283 occurred on January 29. Since then, the committee has been trying to find a compromise with the stipulations set within the original bill to fully consider it for legalization.

After weeks, they have finally tweaked it enough on Monday for it to move on to the Senate floor.

The Terms Of The Bill Being Considered

Bill KS SB 283 will make both mobile and retail locations available for sportsbooks. The four commercial casinos in the state would be eligible to expand their businesses and open sports betting lounges. They would also be given licenses to operate mobile sports betting platforms for accepting wagers on sporting events.

The 10% tax rate on revenue for the internet outlets remained the same as did the 7.5% tax rate for sportsbooks at retail locations. The sports betting market in Kansas would be regulated by the Kansas Lottery. But lottery retailers would not be allowed to operate businesses for gambling on sports.

Despite opposition about official league data needing to be a requirement for sportsbooks, it is not currently a rule in the bill.

“To me, I’d rather see official data. I know the casinos don’t like this piece,” said Sen. Rob Olson (R-Olathe).

Olson was the only one to feel this should be put in the bill, therefore being outvoted by his fellow committee members. They felt there was no need to add professional leagues into having to make contracts with casinos in order to make gambling on sports matchups a legal reality in Kansas.

Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee chairman Sen. Bud Estes (R-Dodge City) said that making leagues partner with casinos would be like “throwing the fox in the henhouse.”

Originally, tax revenue that would come from sports betting had no specific place to be put toward. Now, the committee has decided that $800,000 would go to supporting the reboot of horse races at Eureka Downs while $750,000 would be set aside for potential investigations regarding criminal acts in the sports betting market and scholarships for continued education for residents.

Greyhound races will still be prohibited as was written in the original bill. The legal age for all sports bettors in Kansas is set at 21 years old. Collegiate and pro sports would be open for bets but anything that is high school and under would be prohibited under KS SB 283.

The Bottom Line

Legal sports betting in Kansas is closer than ever toward becoming a reality. No date has been set for the bill to be heard on the House floor yet. The legislative session ends on May 31.

Lawmakers want to see legalization as profits would help the economy. Kansas estimates an annual revenue from the sports betting market of $50 million.

“I think we’ve probably ridden this horse long enough,” said Estes. “This should bring a little bit more money into the state treasury.”

News tags: | | | | | |