A new pair of sports betting bills in Kansas would legalize sports betting via the lottery and at racetracks both in-person and through mobile and online platforms. One bill is from the Senate, SB 222, and the other the House, HB 2390.
The bills were both introduced last week and are sponsored by the Committee on Federal and State Affairs.
With the addition of these two bills, there are now a total of five sports betting bills in the Kansas legislature. All of the bills have been referred to Federal and State Affairs, however, none of the bills have a hearing date set yet. It is believed that the committee will take up all the bills at one single hearing.
SB 222 and HB 2390 are identical bills. They both allow for state-wide mobile sports betting through the lottery and racetracks. However, neither of the bills addresses the important question regarding registration, whether it will require in-person registration or allow for remote sign-up.
Under the bills, sportsbooks would be taxed at 6.75 percent of adjusted gross revenue. The bills do not address an application or renewal fee.
The other sports betting bills already circulating in Kansas feature some key differences. HB 2032 only allows for legalized in-person sports betting at horse racetracks only. Another bill, SB 23, includes the highly debated “integrity fee” that states and professional sports leagues have been arguing. The bill would require an integrity fee of 0.25 percent to be paid to the leagues, and it would also mandate the use of “official league data.” SB 23 would only allow for legal sports betting through the state lottery. The House has introduced a similar bill to SB 23.
The three previous sports betting bills in Kansas have not moved since a canceled hearing on January 30.
The Kansas legislation closes in May, giving it about two more months to still legalize sports betting during this session. If so, it has a chance to be the first Midwest state to do so, which could significantly boost revenue as it would almost certainly attract neighboring residents. Missouri and Iowa seem to be the two neighboring states most likely to compete with Kansas at this time and offer sports betting in the near future.
The new bills would add Kansas sports betting definitions and exemptions to the existing Kansas expanded lottery act. They would also call for 2 percent of sports betting revenue derived from lottery or racetracks to be earmarked for problem gambling programs. Under the new bills, collegiate sports betting would be allowed.
Since sports betting became a hot topic in 2018 after the strike down of the PASPA ruling, lawmakers in Kansas have not been able to come to a consensus on what it wants sports betting in the state to look like. The more bills that get introduced give the state more options as to how they want to move forward with legal sports betting in the state.