Kansas Legislature

  • Kansas has heard its first bill for the 2021 legislative session that would make sports betting legal in the state in 2022.
  • Senate Bill 84 would open up mobile and land-based sportsbooks in Kansas for legal wagers on sporting events to be done by gamblers 21 and over.

TOPEKA, Kan.The Kansas State Legislature was introduced to a new bill that would make sports betting in Kansas legal.

Senate Bill 84 was debuted for the first time on the Senate floor on Tuesday where it was then referred to the Committee on Federal and State Affairs on Wednesday but has not yet been heard within the Committee.

Details of KS SB 84 are similar to details from Senate Bill 283 from the 2020 session that made quite an impact with the Legislature, nearly becoming law but with the outbreak of COVID-19, the requested amendments were not made in time, having the proposal die when the session adjourned.

Kansas Senate Bill 84 Breakdown

Under Senate Bill 84, mobile and retail sports betting would be legal. Each of the four casinos in the state would be able to have three online operations equating to 12 total platforms for wagering on sports by cellphone or internet access.

The bill also states that the Tribes of Kansas could expand their gaming businesses and offer sports betting to their customers once a request to renegotiate their Tribal Gaming Compacts with the state was formally made by interested parties.

Although they would not be eligible to open a sportsbook at their venue, the Kansas Speedway could open an online sports wagering addition to their property which could possibly open up the market to a 13th platform for mobile sportsbooks.

The Kansas Lottery has been named as the regulator of the sports gaming industry under this proposal. They would be in charge of overseeing the rules and regulations of the market as well as licensing possible operators for business.

The tax rate is set at 7.5% on all gross gaming revenue (GGR) at retail sportsbooks and 10% for mobile sports wagering applications. Collegiate and professional sporting events would be open for wagers if Senate Bill 84 were to become law. The legal age for gambling on sports matchups has been written as 21 and over.

In its finer points, the legislation makes reference to having a self-exclusion list for problem gamblers. People in the state would be able to put their name on this list which would ensure that they could not access any form of wagering on sports through state-sanctioned outlets.

If KS SB 84 is approved, it requests that the Kansas Lottery have all of the rules and regulations for the industry in place by October 31 of this year so that a launch of the market could take place by 2022.

No renewal fees or application fees have been mentioned in its present draft.

Currently, sports bettors in Kansas visit neighboring states to wager on sports or use other sources to gamble on the games. It’s known by lawmakers in the state that this occurs daily and the economy has not profited from the activity as they haven’t opened an industry of their own to do so.

What’s Next For Kansas?

This was the first of what is expected to be a few bills introduced that would make sports betting legal in Kansas. Even if Senate Bill 84 passes within the Kansas State Legislature, Governor Laura Kelly will have the final say.

Should last year’s bills be used for comparison, the tax rates on this proposal are too low for an amendment not to be requested. There is also the issue of iGaming which is something that Governor Kelly wanted to see in a 2020 sports betting bill and KS SB 84 does not have that listed in its proposal.

The Kansas State Legislature will adjourn on May 15 for the year. There has not been a date set for when Senate Bill 84 will be heard on the floor next.

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