The wave of sports betting legalization across the US has landed on the state of Kansas. The Sunflower State was officially announced as the latest US state to start considering sports betting, with their first step towards resolution being this week’s interim committee session on the topic.
Kansas has started talks regarding the introduction of legal sports betting practices within the country, as officially decreed by the Supreme Court decision to take down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) back in May.
Their attempt to capitalize on this change in the legislature has been preceded by other countries that have already introduced legal opportunities to make bets on sporting events – New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, Mississippi, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.
How Will It All Go Down for Kansas Legislators?
The Committee in charge of bills regarding sports betting is chaired by Republican Senator Bud Estes. He has taken great caution and careful consideration of all points prior to any final decision process. In his own words:
“I don’t want to skate on thin ice on something we don’t know anything about. If we start passing legislation for interest groups, we could make a real mess. We need to be educated. I’m not going to let my committee go out and pass a lot of legislation right out of the bag. We need to be smarter before we do it.”
In other words, the committee wants to understand each separate constituent and treat it accordingly before reaching a final decision. The tax policy is a particular point that requires careful consideration, as respective lawmakers need to be careful when determining the exact tax rate. It needs to fit operators so that they can function sustainably, but it should also meet the needs of players instead of pushing them further towards illegal gambling platforms.
Legal Sports Betting in Kansas
Commercial gambling does have some presence in Kansas, which currently boasts four casino establishments and a stable 7% increase in gambling revenue since their inception back in 2009. However, when it comes to sports betting, there is the added issue as to whether it should be featured at these locals exclusively, or at sports bars as well.
Either way, the endeavor is definitely supported by the Democratic Government elect Laura Kelly, who voiced her endorsement towards legal sports betting practices in her electorate campaign.
What Steps Has Kansas Taken So Far?
Efforts are being made to address these details before the start of the new season on January 14, although lawmakers are currently short of any drafts for bill propositions.
The last bill was proposed by Republican Representative Jan Kessinger during the previous legislative session, but only made it through discussion and was quickly discarded. Nevertheless, it seems appealing enough for Kessinger to try at it again next year.
According to expert calculations, the bill was supposed to bring in an estimate of $75 million budget revenue per year. Despite the time, it would take for such legislation to “get up to speed”, the Republican ultimately claimed that it would seriously aid the state budget in handling urgent matters.