Kansas governor signs law legalizing sports betting

TOPEKA — After years of waiting, Kansans will soon be able to legally bet on sporting events under a new law signed Thursday by Governor Laura Kelly.

Senate Bill 84 allows the four public casinos to use digital or in-person means to engage in the sports betting business. The casinos, established under the control of the Kansas Lottery, can create and operate sportsbooks or partner with up to three online betting operators each to launch mobile platforms.

Native American tribes can negotiate a new or updated gambling contract regarding sports betting.

“Legalizing sports betting will bring more revenue to our state and grow our economy,” Kelly said. “This is another mechanism that casinos, restaurants and other entertainment venues can now use to attract Kansans to their establishments.”

The long-sought law passed 73 to 49 in the House, and in the final hours of the veto session, the Senate followed suit 21 to 13.

The Kansas Lottery and Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission will share sports betting oversight. Bettors on the casino platforms will need to be physically located in Kansas to bet and must be 21 years of age or older.

There are I hope the system can be implemented in time for the NFL and college football seasons, but it’s more likely to take place in January 2023.

Opponents of legalizing this form of gambling as the industry contributed to 65,000 problem gamblers in Kansas. They argued that the 10% state tax on sports gambling generating $1 million to $5 million in annual revenue was not enough of a financial incentive to legalize the activity and risk more trouble with it. potential addiction.

State-affiliated casinos are expected to earn between $9 million and $45 million a year from sports betting.

“I was excited to move sports betting to Kansas, it’s something Kansas is already doing, and it will bring additional tax revenue to our state to meet our needs,” said Sen. Rob Olson, a Republican of Olathe and President of the Senate. Federal and State Affairs Commission. “My constituents have been pushing for this legislation for years, and now the next time we have a major sporting event in our state, Kansans can bet on their hometown team.”

Eighty percent of state revenue from legal sports betting will go into a Kansas Department of Commerce fund that will be used to support the creation of a professional sports facility in Kansas, to attract a team such as the Kansas City Chiefs across state lines.

Casinos may enter into agreements with professional sports franchises and place kiosks at a team’s facilities to allow fans to place bets. They can also partner with 50 companies and entities, one-fifth of which must be nonprofits.

“For years, our constituents have told us about the need for a sports betting program here in Kansas, both for the value it will bring to their lives and for the revenue it will generate for our state,” said said Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau. , a Democrat from Wichita and a senior member of the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee. “I am proud to have contributed to this package which will do just that and revitalize my community by creating jobs in Wichita.”