- Kansas has two sports betting bills in the House that would make gambling on sporting events legal in the state.
- The bills have no set calendar dates because the Kansas Legislature has been closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
- The Legislature will reconvene on April 27.
TOPEKA, Kan. – Before the Coronavirus outbreak and stay-at-home measures were set into place, the Kansas Legislature had two sports betting bills on the table.
Each bill would have allowed for the legalization of sporting events in the state of Kansas should they have made it all the way to Governor Laura Kelly’s desk. However, both bills have not had the floor since early March which was about the time that COVID-19 became an issue nationwide.
The Kansas Legislature
The Kansas Legislature has been adjourned since March 19 as a precaution to avoid the further spread of the Coronavirus. The session is expected to resume on April 27 where they would close out the year in May. However, lawmakers do not believe it is a wise decision to go back to work during a time when Kansas is expected to peak in COVID-19 cases.
“I don’t second-guess the Legislature, but I think it would unwise to gather people that soon after a peak,” said Kansas Health and Environment Secretary, Lee Norman.
Due to all that is unknown about the Coronavirus and its effect on a day to day basis, Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley added, “We shouldn’t come back at all.”
The Sports Betting Bills
When the Legislature returns, they will act swiftly and hear bills based on priority in the state. Sports betting may not make it onto the docket especially during these unusual circumstances involving the current pandemic.
KS SB 283 was moving along in the legislature with approvals and was slated to make it all the way to the Governor once it was given a few key amendments to ensure that it would make gambling on sporting events a reality in the state.
Those amendments were in the process of being made to be presented to the House at some point when the session was suspended.
KS HB 2671 was just recently introduced and required a lot of amendments before it could move along in the House to be heard for approvals. However, it has not moved because of the legislative shut down as well.
What Does This Mean?
Both bills that would legalize sports betting in Kansas may end up dying out in the 2020 session. The bills require floor time that they might not receive because of the current timeline that the Coronavirus has put on the Legislature.
Legal sports betting is an issue that may have to wait until 2021 unless the bills receive a spot on the calendar once the session reconvenes on April 27.
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.