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In a surprise move on Wednesday, the Kansas House of Representatives approved a sports betting bill (HB 2740) that was left dead in the water by the Federal and State Affairs Committee (FSAC), and now that gives new life to an issue that was thought to have been stalled for now.
When the FSAC adjourned their meeting on Tuesday without taking a vote on HB 2740, many state lawmakers and industry insiders assumed that bill was basically killed, but then a day later the Kansas House of Reps figured out a way to rework the bill to make it passable.
By a vote of 88-36, the House ayes had it and now that bill can move forward on its way towards becoming law, a move that over thirty other states have made already in order to launch their own sports betting market for their residents.
Kansas lawmakers like Rep. Stephanie Clayton are proponents of this bill that essentially legalizes, regulates, and taxes the existing underground sports betting market, telling the media:
I am very pleased to see the passage of sports wagering through the Kansas House. It is my hope that the Senate will also vote in favor of this legislation so we can have this on the governor’s desk as soon as possible.
It took some clever reworking by legislators to get this sports betting bill in passable shape.
In true lawmaker fashion, Kansas state leaders amended a Senate sports betting bill (SB 84) with the essential details of HB 2740 and that Frankenstein-ed piece of legislation is what the House eventually passed.
The upgraded SB 84 is a complex bill, but some of the more critical aspects of it are as follows:
The newly reworked version of the sports betting bill includes increased tax rates, with online sports betting now being taxed at 20% instead of the 8% rate proposed in 2021and in-person sports betting would be taxed at 14% instead of the 5.5% that was also suggested last year.
Now it’s up to the state senate to debate and eventually approve SB 84.
Now it is up to the Kansas Senate to debate and pass SB 84 before it gets to Governor Laura Kelly’s desk for a signature, but the longer lawmakers take the more money the state loses, with every month they delay equating to potentially millions of dollars in tax revenue lost.
There is no telling how much money is already being spent by Sunflower State bettors who use offshore sportsbooks and illicit bookies to handle their action right now, but once that handle is regulated and taxed, that money can be put to good use in Kansas instead of overseas.
Keep checking back for the latest news and updates on this ongoing 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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