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Even though it is too late to get sports betting into Kansas and Missouri for next week’s Super Bowl featuring the region’s beloved Kansas City Chiefs, lawmakers from both states are inching their way closer to pursuing legal wagering.
In Kansas, Senate Bill 283 has gained bipartisan support for bringing online sports betting to the state via the four casinos, all are regulated by the Kansas Lottery. Under the proposed measure, each casino would get two licenses for online sportsbooks.
In neighboring Missouri, the pursuit of squashing the illegal wagering black market is a primary driver to the passage of one of several bills being debated to ultimately bring sports betting to the state.
But what will it take for the two states to continue the rollout of legal sports betting across the United States and finally legalize wagering?
The current proposed bill in Kansas, SB 283, is well-positioned for passage as the measure sidesteps a few disastrous mistakes that early-adopting states couldn’t avoid, slowing the growth of the market and creating early returns of underwhelming revenue.
One of the best features of the proposed legislation is that bettors won’t have to travel to a casino to open an account to start their online betting. Instead, individuals will be able to open and fund their betting accounts through their mobile apps.
The bill won’t restrict betting on in-state college teams, something Kansas bettors, a state without a professional team in the four major sports, will certainly enjoy.
In addition to the four casinos receiving access to two licenses, the state’s two sports attractions will also be granted the ability to take bets. The Kansas Speedway and the stadium of the Sporting KC of the Major League Soccer league will also be allowed to take bets on location.
Lawmakers are hopeful to have sports betting open in the state by the beginning of the 2020 NFL and college football season. The bill will have its first committee hearing on January 29th.
A bipartisan coalition of Missouri lawmakers are ready to take a run at the betting black market bypassing one of several bills in front of lawmakers. Most of the state’s legislators believe that they are close to finding a system to create a healthy base of tax revenue while reducing the size of illegal betting in the state.
“Sports gambling is pretty straightforward; you let the casinos build the books, you start taking bets, you start generating tax revenue, and then you’re bringing something to the white market which is already rampant on the black market,” State Rep. Wes Rogers told Fox 4 Kansas City.
The hope of Missouri legislators is that a final bill will include in-person wagering options at casinos and mobile betting via an app.
“In a really good sports gambling bill, you would include both the brick and mortar sportsbooks at the casinos and the mobile platform,” Rogers said. “And that also opens up sports gambling to places in the state where they’re not going to have access to a casino.”
Odds are on Missouri to pass sports betting legislation before its neighbor, with Kansas lawmakers admitting that their bill might take a bit longer to get fellow conservative legislators on board with a measure.
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