Sports betting is a signature away from becoming legal in Kansas as the Senate passed SB 84 on Friday morning. On Thursday, the House approved the bill by a vote of 73-49 on Thursday, while the Senate approved the bill by a margin of 21-13.
SB 84 Was Highly Debated in the SunFlower State For a Few Days
The Senate quickly approved the bill as the chamber rejected the amendments the House pushed for on Wednesday. They resolved their differences by mid-afternoon, after making crucial changes.
The Kansas legislature was the second state to send a sports betting bill to its governor and the first jurisdiction to set up a competitive sports betting market this year. Maine’s legislators passed a sports betting that will be available only to the tribes and prohibits the casinos from offering mobile sports wagering.
This is good news for the sports betting industry as it looks to expand to more states this year. Kansas’ neighbor Missouri killed a pair of sports betting bills as the Show-Me State hasn’t made any progress.
So far, Georgia, Kentucky, and Missouri have failed to pass a sports betting bill this year. Sports betting in Massachusetts will be an uphill battle as the House and the Senate approved two separate bills. Both sides will have to come up with a solution to have a legalized market in 2022.
What Will Sports Betting Look Like in Kansas
Bettors across the Sunflower State will be able to place wagers on mobile devices and retail outlets. Each of the state’s four casinos will have three mobile licenses, with a fourth available in the casino partners with a professional sports team. Each bet placed would have a 10 percent tax. However, the only professional franchise that resides in the state is Sporting KC of the MLS.
Another plan is for the casinos could partner with 50 commercial partners where bettors can place wagers if needed. Twenty percent of the revenue would go to fraternal or veterans’ organizations.
The sports betting bill also faced opposition, as one would expect. There were three common concerns to the bill. According to the proposition, 80 percent of the taxes collected will be available to attract a professional sports franchise to the state.
The low tax rate wouldn’t generate much revenue, as 10 percent would add up to approximately $10 million by the third year of operation. In many jurisdictions in the industry, opponents of the bill share a similar theme. Analysts are expecting that legalized sports betting will create compulsive gamblers that would harm families and individuals financially.
The Kansas City Chiefs Coming to Kansas
The supporters of the sports betting bill want a professional franchise to come to Kansas, but funding for a new venue can be expensive. Sen. Renee Erickson questioned if the funds will benefit those that reside in the state.
“I don’t know, I’ve heard that sports arenas are fairly expensive. Even at the $10 million, I don’t know how long it would take to accumulate enough in that fund at approximately $8 million a year to be able to build the stadium that we’re talking about. I don’t know that that’s a realistic number.”
If the funds were not needed there, Sen. Ron Olson noted that they could be pulled back.