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Kansas sports betting bill presented for governor’s approval
Presuming gubernatiorial approval, the Senate Bill 84 would expand the State’s existing Lottery Act to cover sports betting, which could then be provided by betting firms under the auspices of the state lottery.
The virtual horse racing element is not to be seen as an afterthought in this pending legislation. This system, which uses data from past horse races to program and predict the results of hypothetical races, is an innovation that is already in use in some form in eight other states. It is, however, a considerable step beyond the existing legalized forms of betting in most states, and would make Kansas one of the most liberal states from an iGaming point of view.
The bill, first presented in its original form in January 2021, has gone through multiple amendments before reaching its present stage. An earlier draft of the legislation passed the Senate but was blocked by the House. The House and Senate then presented differing forms of the prospective law, leading to a reconciliation committee which worked on drafting a final form that would be agreeable to both chambers.
The revised Bill 84 was then passed in both House and Senate, with the lower chamber passing it by a margin of 73 to 48, while 21 Senators voted aye to 13 naysayers. With bicameral approval secured, the passage of the legislation to the Governor’s office is – lawmakers hope – the final stage in this labyrinthine process. It is understood that Governor Laura Kelly will nod through the legislation with an election on the horizon in November.
Should it get the final approval, the legislation would permit the issuing of licenses to prospective sports betting providers under the Lottery Act and Parimutuel Racing Act.
Some 80% of the proceeds collected by the state of Kansas would go towards building a new stadium in the state with a view to attracting professional sports teams. As of this moment, the NFL’s Chiefs and MLB’s Royals are located in Kansas City, which is just across state lines in neighbouring Missouri. Existing sport venues in the state would gain powers under the new legislation to run sportsbook betting on their premises, making for a further potential boost to sporting facilities in Kansas.
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