Sports Betting One Step Closer In Kansas

US-based sportsbooks will be encouraged by their prospects of setting up in Kansas following the most recent news to come out of the state.

At the time of writing, Kansas residents have to use offshore sportsbooks to place their sports bets online but that could soon be about to change.

SB 84 was passed through the state’s House, which would legalize online sports wagering and retail betting, following an 88-36 majority vote amongst the House. It came after amendments were made to sections of HB 2740.

There were some concerns that the bill may not pass following a stall on Tuesday and two different versions of SB 84 needed to pass through the chambers. The main discrepancy at this moment in time is the tax rates on sports betting that the state would impose.

The Senate bill has proposed an 8% tax on internet sports betting and 5.5% on retail, while the House version of the bill is seeking a 20% tax on online sports betting and 14% on retail. They have since added an amendment for 2% of sports betting tax revenue to go towards treating problem gamblers throughout Kansas to aid responsible gambling.

If the bill officially passes, it would allow four state-owned casinos to with up to three mobile sports betting operators. Residents will only be allowed to wager on professional and collegiate sporting events, meaning they can bet on Kansas-based sports teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs, the Kansas City Royals and the Kansas Jayhawks, who are in the March Madness Final Four this weekend.

“I think it’s time Kansas joined the rest of the country in moving in this direction,” Rep. Vic Miller said. “Doesn’t really do us any good to stand still. Other than it lets money leak out of the state and others around the country make the money.

“So, I don’t have a problem with the bill, but, it does have consequences. I have seen it firsthand. I know how devastating it can be. I don’t think this amendment goes nearly far enough to address it, but at least, it’s something.”