Kansas lawmakers voted to approve a bill that permits sports betting within the state. The Senate voted 21-13 to approve the sports betting bill early Friday after the House passed it on Thursday by a 73-49 margin.
The bill now heads to Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly, who is expected to sign it, giving Kansas online sports betting the go-ahead.
Bettors will be able to place wagers on their cellphone or other mobile devices. Bets can also be placed at state-owned casinos or up to 50 other locations selected by the state’s four casinos. There would also be a 10% tax on each bet placed.
Under the bill, 80% of revenues would be set aside for a fund to provide incentives for other pro sports teams to come to Kansas. The marquee target for the state is the Kansas City Chiefs.
Supporters want to see the NFL betting odds team join the entertainment area in Kansas City that already features the Sporting KC soccer team, the Kansas Speedway and a state-owned casino.
“If you had a football team in Western Wyandotte county, how many places would have a football team, a world class soccer team, casino, a speedway, and all the shopping amenities and minor league baseball, in just that geographical area?” Sen. Rob Olson said. “That would be the kind of destination that would have a Super Bowl, and when you have a Super Bowl, all that money that would be spent in that local area, it would generate a lot.”
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Kansas Makes More Progress Than Missouri
Kansas lawmakers became the second group to forward a sports betting bill to its governor. Last week, Maine legislators sent a limited tribal sports wagering bill that does not allow the casinos to offer online sports betting. Gov. Janet Mills has yet to sign the bill.
Compared to Maine, Kansas’ bill promotes an open and competitive marketplace with numerous operators. The bill states sports betting must launch by Jan. 2023 at the latest. After Gov. Kelly signs it as expected, the state will have to form implement the rules to govern the industry and approve the sports betting applications that come through the state.
With Missouri’s sports betting bill stalled in the Senate, Kansas gets a jump on its neighbor. Kansas lawmakers hope this will lead to more revenue coming in from out of the state as people look to place their bets.
“It does end up benefiting a lot of local Kansas businesses because people will be coming here spending your money here,” Rep. Stephanie Clayton told KMBC News.
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