Kansas Sports Betting Bill Passes Both Houses, Awaits Governor’s Signature

Both houses of the Kansas state legislature passed a sports betting bill on Thursday. Now all that remains before the legalization of Kansas sports betting is the signature of Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat who has expressed support for the bill.

Senate Bill 84 passed by a vote of 73-49 in the Kansas House of Representatives and later was approved by a 21-13 margin in the Senate. As a result, Kansas pushed through legislation on sports betting before neighboring Missouri, which sent its bill back to committee earlier this week.

The governor has yet to indicate when she may sign the bill. Her signature would spark the process by state officials to layout an application process and start the work toward launching sports betting in the Sunflower State.

The action by Kansas lawmakers continues a feverish pace that has taken many industry observers by surprise. Senate Bill 84 sprung up quickly out of committee and passage was quick compared to many states, such as Missouri and Texas, which have dragged their feet on gaming legislation.

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Important Dates For Kansas Sports Betting

According to the bill, Kansas must finalize a background investigation process for sports betting license applicants by Aug. 1. The background checks must commence no later than Aug. 15. Further, language in the bill establishes that the state is required to begin the submission process for applications by Sept. 1. Those are deadlines, but the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission could begin those processes earlier.

Sports fans are hoping that the Kansas betting market will be ready by the start of football season. The NFL season begins the first week of September, while college football starts in the final days of August. The bill allows for both online and retail sportsbooks.

How Will Kansas Sports Betting Work?

Under the legislation, the minimum age to place legal sports wagers in Kansas is 21. Prop bets and betting on college sports is allowed, including in-state games and teams. 

Each of the four casinos in Kansas is allowed to enter into partnerships with as many as three online sportsbook operators within the state. Retail locations are handled under a separate license at each of those locations allowed under the pending law.

Adjusted gross revenue (total revenue minus promotional expenses and other accepted expenses) will be taxed at 10% in Kansas for both retail and online sportsbooks. Tax revenue paid to the state will be earmarked for gambling addiction education programs, the state’s general fund, and educational programs statewide and in local communities.

Interestingly, Senate Bill 84 will create the Attracting Professional Sports to Kansas Fund, an effort by lawmakers to lure a major professional sports team to the state. Both the Chiefs and Royals play in Kansas City, Missouri.

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

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