A new pair of Kansas sports betting bills, one each in the Senate and the House, would legalize sports betting via the lottery and at state racetracks both in-person and via mobile/internet. The bills were introduced into the House on Wednesday and the Senate on Thursday, and are sponsored by the Committee on Federal and State Affairs.
There are now a total of five sports betting bills circulating in the Kansas legislature, all of which have been referred to Federal and State Affairs, and none of which have a hearing date set. It’s likely the committee will take up all the bills at a single hearing.
SB 222 and HB 2390 are identical. The bills allow for state-wide mobile sports betting through both the lottery and racetracks, but neither addresses the question registration (remote versus in person, and would restrict facilities to a single “skin,” or “interactive sports wagering platform” online. For comparison, the most successful new non-Nevada sports betting market is New Jersey, which permits up to three skins and allows patrons to register remotely.
Kansas considers sports betting
Sportsbooks would be taxed at 6.75 percent of adjusted gross revenue, but the bill does not address an application or renewal fee.
The bills are a bit of a departure from earlier offerings in Kansas. One Kansas bill calls for legalizing in-person sports betting at horse racetracks only. Another, SB 23 includes a 0.25 percent” integrity fee” to be paid to the professional sports leagues, and mandates the use of “official league data.” That bill would have legalized sports betting through the state lottery only. A similar bill to SB 23 was also introduced in the House.
It appears that the Committee on Federal and State Affairs is refining what it wants sports betting in Kansas to look like, as all that committee saw the introduction of all the bills except the one legalizing at racetracks only. Since sports betting emerged as a topic in the Kansas legislature in 2018, lawmakers have not been able to come to consensus, as was evident at and following a December hearing on the topic.
Kansas still has plenty of time to legalize sports betting during this session, which closes on May 31. It could potentially be the first Midwest state to do so. While neighboring Missouri has multiple sports betting bills on the Senate “calendar for perfection,” and both Iowa and Indiana lawmakers are actively considering sports betting, none have legalized to date.
Below, highlights of Kansas HB 2390 and SB 222:
Mobile Betting? Yes
Remote registration permitted? Not addressed
Tax rate: 6.75 percent of adjusted gross revenue
Application/renewal fee: Not addressed
Legal to bet on college games?: Yes
Fee to pro leagues: No
Use of “official league data” mandated?: No
Regulatory body: Kansas Lottery
Where the money goes: 2% of sports betting revenue derived from lottery or racetracks is earmarked for problem gambling programs.
Cap on number of licenses available? No