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It has taken Kansas Lawmakers almost four years to pass legislation to legalize sports betting in the Sunflower State, and last week both chambers of congress finally gave their approval to a sports gambling bill that would allow residents to place sports wagers in person and online.
The Kansas Senate and House of Representatives are both controlled by the Republicans and on Thursday the House passed that sports betting bill by a vote of 74-49 and the Senate gave their green light with a 21-13 vote in favor of legalizing a sports betting market there.
Now that approved bill will go directly to Governor Laura Kelly for an official signature that will turn that legislation into law, and then it will just be a matter of setting up and launching that regulated market until Kansas bettors can place legal bets on pro sports teams.
That bill describes a 10% tax that would be placed on each wager with that money going towards a cause that might surprise some sports fans – it will be spent luring nearby pro teams to Kansas.
One of the goals of the Kansas lawmakers who created this sports betting bill now ready to be signed by the governor is to lure more pro sports teams to the Wheat State, with Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL and the KC Royals of the MLB two of their major targets in this deal.
Eighty percent of the tax revenue generated by the legal sports betting market in Kanas is earmarked to a fund that will support various incentives meant to attract a wide variety of pro sports teams to relocate to that state, a big ask that could mean even bigger money there.
The hope is that once the KC Chiefs’ lease at Arrowhead Stadium expires in 2031, the team would re-locate in Western Wyandotte County near the MLS’s Sporting Kansas City’s stadium, the Kansas Speedway, and the state-owned Hollywood Casino.
Of course, Jackson County, Missouri Executive Frank White told the press that he would “do everything in his power” to keep the Chiefs in his state and the Missouri Governor has made it clear that he would compete with any entity trying to “poach” his state’s pro sports teams.
But that could be a tough battle given how much money is at stake.
As over thirty other states have already come to realize, a legal sports betting market can generate a multi-billion-dollar handle that can result in a multi-million-dollar annual tax revenue stream that can be used to further whatever interests the state deems essential.
Kansas plans to use most of that expected $5 million a year annual sports betting tax income on convincing Chiefs’ and Royals’ ownership that it makes better financial sense to uproot their teams and move directly west where Kansas waits with open arms and wallets.
It will take time for those decisions to be made and that can’t happen until the Kanas legal betting market is launched, so check back for all the latest news and updates on this unfolding story.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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