History Behind Proposed Sports Betting Bill in Kansas
Sports betting throughout the nation has varied. Some state legislatures have been receptive to the form of gambling while others have not budged on the subject. Sports betting was illegal in the United States from 1992 until 2018 because of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). Sports betting had the potential of being a very lucrative addition to the American gambling economy. States pushed for the legalization of the sports betting, and the Supreme Court delivered. The Supreme Court nullified PASPA, and some states immediately started implementing sports betting.
Members of the Kansas government were excited about the opportunity to have the ability to enact sports betting. The process of legalization was very long in the Kansas legislature. Sports betting is still not legal, but the Kansas Senate approved a sports betting bill in February of 2020. Unfortunately, the Kansas House of Representatives wasn’t able to discuss the subject matter in full.
The COVID pandemic forced the Congress in the state to adjourn. This occurred when the House was holding a committee hearing on sports betting in the state. Kansas is much closer than other states in the legalization process, and the future is very bright for sports betting in 2021.
What Sports Betting Bill in Kansas Says
The future of Kansas sports betting is promising in 2021. The Senate passed SB 283 in February of 2020, which was the first step towards legalization. This bill was built to support the casino industry in the state. Legislators who drafted the bill didn’t give the state as much revenue as some officials would’ve wanted, but this didn’t prevent Senate approval.
SB 283 authorized both retail and online sports betting. If the bill was legalized, brick and mortar sports betting would be limited to four retail locations. These retail books would be located in casinos. It’s expected that the Boot Hill Casino in Dodge City, Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel in Pittsburgh, and the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane will be the four locations offering retail sportsbooks.
The bill would permit up to eight online sportsbooks operating within state borders. Operators would have to pay a 7.5% tax on the revenue at retail locations. Online sportsbooks would face a 10% tax on revenue. 2% of the tax revenue would go towards addiction counseling and recovery. This would help manage gambling addiction in the state that would be heightened with the addition of sports betting to the state’s gambling options. It’s estimated that the annual handle would be between $360 and $400 million in the first few years it’s presented in the state.
What’s Holding Sports Betting Back in Kansas
There have been a couple of issues that have prevented the enactment of sports betting in Kansas. The first is the COVID pandemic, which has been a recurring theme for state’s who were in the heat of the sports betting negotiation process.
The Kansas House Committee was stalled because of COVID when sports betting was being discussed. There was some momentum on the side of sports betting at this time, so COVID ended this streak. The topic of sports betting will be back on the docket in 2021. Legislators are excited about sports betting entering the state, but this wasn’t a primary concern when COVID began to impact the state.
The other thing holding back sports betting is Governor Laura Kelly. Kelly has made it clear that she doesn’t support the sports betting bill that was passed by the Senate. The Kansas Governor wasn’t pleased with the financial cut that the state would receive from online gambling. S 283 deals with online gaming, and casinos didn’t want the mobile options to be similar to slot machines on a real casino floor.
This is one of a few issues that Governor Kelly has with the proposed bill that deals with sports betting. The casinos and state will need to come to an agreement where both parties are happy when bill discussions resume in 2021.
Sports Teams to Bet on in Kansas
Kansas doesn’t have any professional sports teams that play directly in the state, but this doesn’t mean that the state isn’t filled with avid sports fans. In NCAA sports, the two schools that dominate the state are the University of Kansas and Kansas State University. The Jayhawks and Wildcats play in the Big 12 Conference and have had powerhouse football and basketball programs over the years.
Residents of the state typically support professional sports teams in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Colorado. This varies depending on the area of the state. The two most popular NFL teams in Kansas are the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Broncos are popular in the western portion of the state. Residents that live near the Missouri line love the Chiefs.
Most Kansas citizens support the Oklahoma Thunder when it comes to the NBA. Oklahoma borders the entire southern portion of the state. Some people support the Denver Nuggets, but the Thunder have an overwhelming amount of support in Kansas.
The Royals are one of the favorite professional sports franchises amongst Kansas residents. The Kansas City Royals won the World Series in 2015, which helped the team’s admiration grow throughout Kansas. Even though Kansas doesn’t host any professional sports franchises, residents have the ability to support a plethora of nearby teams across all the major leagues.
FAQ for Betting in Kansas
Is sports betting legal in Kansas?
No, sports betting isn’t legal in Kansas at this point in time. The Kansas Senate approved sports betting in the bill SB 283. However, this was the first step in a long process. COVID derailed the legalization process, so negotiations will resume in 2021.
When is the expected sports betting launch in Kansas?
No specific launch date has been set for sports betting in Kansas. However, a sports betting launch looks promising in 2021.
What’s holding sports betting back in the state?
There are complaints from Governor Kelly regarding the Senate’s bill. She wants more financial gain for the state, but the bill favors the casino industry. Casinos and the government will need to come to an agreement in order for a final bill to be passed.
Will there be online sports betting in Kansas?
Yes, SB 283 calls for online sports betting. The state has deemed that up to eight mobile sportsbooks could operate in the state.
Will there be retail sports betting in Kansas?
Yes, SB 283 calls for retail sportsbooks. The state will allow four casinos to offer retail sportsbooks in the state.
What’s the legal betting age in Kansas?
The legal casino betting age in Kansas is 21 years of age.