What’s Next For Kansas Sports Betting After Bill Passes Senate

Posted on February 26, 2020

Legal Kansas sports betting is one step closer after the Sunflower State‘s Senate passed a retail and mobile bill Wednesday.

SB 283 just beat the chamber crossover deadline of Thursday, but it wasn’t done easily. The debate lasted more than four hours with a failed amendment from Sen. Tom Holland that attempted to essentially replace the bill. It would have put the state in control of negotiating with sportsbook operators and casinos.

The bill had no opponents in committee. It was the first time the carrier of the bill, Sen. Jeff Longbine, said he’s seen that for a gaming bill. It passed by voice vote in the Senate.

Jeff Morris, Penn National‘s VP of Public Affairs and Government Communication, praised the bill as a collaboration between the legislature and casino operators.

Kansas sports betting details under SB 283

SB 283 is one of the more industry-friendly sports betting bills introduced this year.

Operators would pay a 7.5% tax on Kansas sports betting revenue from retail operations. Online revenue would be taxed at 10%. There could be up to eight online sports betting operators in Kansas based on two licenses for each casino.

An amendment from Senate President Susan Wagle designating 2% of sports betting revenue to addiction counseling passed. She also included guardrails to keep the funds from being funneled to other healthcare areas.

The 2% is already on the laws for casino revenue in the state, but only about 8% of that was actually going to addiction, she said. There are 54,000 Kansans with a gambling problem, 75% of whom also have other addictions, Wagle added.

Betting at sports facilities too

Kansas doesn’t have a professional sports team in the four big leagues – NBA, NFL, NHL or MLB. But it does have an MLS team and a NASCAR track, both of which could be involved in sports betting in Kansas under the bill.

Kansas Speedway and Children’s Mercy Park would have to sign an agreement with one of the state’s four casinos. No on-site betting would be allowed but the venues could have KS sports betting areas.

The natural fit for either venue would be Penn National’s Hollywood Casino, located within minutes of both.

State has reasonable fiscal expectations

The fiscal note for SB 283 from Kansas’ Director of the Budget Larry Campbell includes modest expectations.

The Kansas Lottery estimates $360 million to $600 million in annual handle. That could grow to $900 million after five years, according to the note.

Taking conservative estimates and based on Iowa’s actual results for 2019, the note considers $500 million in handle. That would lead to $2.25 million in tax revenue based on 5% hold and an effective tax rate of 9% with most revenue expected to be generated from online operations.

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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