Sports betting legislation is slowly moving forward in Kansas. The process took a giant leap this week as HB 2740 was approved by the House of Representatives and moves on to the Senate. The Federal and State Affairs Committee was unable to move the measure, so the full House took on the bill and approved it with a vote of 88-36. It must now pass within the state to move forward.
Even though the Committee did not move the bill, the House decided to move forward, amending SB 84 to include the information listed in HB 2740. The Senate now needs to approve an identical bill so that it can be sent to the governor for approval. There are differences in both bills, each introduced in 2021.
The House measure has a tax rate of 20% for online betting and 14% for retail services. The Senate has a much lower rate within its measure, calling for 8% on online wagers and 5.5% on retail sports betting. This is the key difference between the measures. It is expected that there will be a consensus and the tax rate will fall somewhere between the two numbers.
The House decided to remove an iLottery clause from the measure during the recent meeting, an option that would have allowed the lottery to sell tickets online.
What Will Sports Betting be Like in Kansas?
If sports betting is legalized in the state, it would be overseen by the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission. The bill will allow players to wager on professional sporting events as well as college games. Motor racing is also included plus special athletic events that are considered appropriate for betting by the Commission.
Up to three online sports betting operators can offer services per casino in Kansas. Originally, the measure only allowed on partnership per casino, but the number was amended within the Senate measure. The House bill allows sports betting in kiosks, and up to 50 partnerships with retailers are allowed, along with professional sports teams.
Additional amendments were approved by the House in the latest meeting, including placing 2% of sports betting tax revenues towards the Kansas problem gambling fund. Casinos will be required to provide $100,000 each year to the Problem Gambling and Addictions Grant Fund.
Players must be 21 years of age to participate. The bill also seeks to legalize historic horse racing machines, with the option limited to Sedgewick County. As many as 1,000 machines may be offered.
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