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There’s no place like home, unless you’re a sports gambler living in Kansas, one of the remaining holdouts when it comes to launching a legal sports betting market, but that could change in 2022 now that State Senator Rob Olson has introduced a new sports betting bill.
Were Senate Bill 84 (SB 84) t become law, Sen. Olson’s bill would add legalized sports betting to the Kansas Lottery Tax Act, paving the way for a legal in-person and mobile sports betting market that would be regulated and taxed with the profits benefitting Kanas residents.
A major key to any successful sports betting market is giving bettors mobile access to the sportsbooks, a factor that Sen. Olson’s bill takes into account, and he has made it clear in the past that the online option is the wave of the future, telling the media:
It’ll be the best benefit for Kansans that are using it. They’ll be able to have that app on their phone. The young people have kind of gone this modern way.
Olson’s current bill is essentially an upgrade of past legislation.
In Kansas, prior attempts were made to legalize sports betting, but for various reasons that legislation never made it out of the state congress, with a 2020 bill stalling due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2021 bill passing through the senate but failing to get approved by the House.
The new bill that Sen. Olson has introduced is similar to that 2021 bill, but now both parties in both chambers are more familiar with the wording and have watched the other states launch successful versions of that market of their own.
The reality that Sunflower State lawmakers are facing is that resident gamblers are already placing wagers and spending millions of dollars annually, they are just having to use unregulated offshore sportsbooks and illicit local bookies to handle their action.
Or worse, that money is going to benefit neighboring states.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned PASPA in 2018, over thirty states have created their own legal sports betting market (including Kansas neighbors Colorado and Arkansas) creating an additional tax revenue stream to benefit residents of those states.
Kansas lawmakers seem optimistic that they can get the job done in 2022, and right now they have sent SB 84 back to a House committee with plans to get the wording just right so that the Senate will be in a position to give it the green light the way they did in 2021.
Then is comes down to giving the state House of Representatives enough time to put the finishing touches on the bill and hand it off to Governor Laura Kelly to sign into law.
Sen. Olson wants to get this done and start redirecting that sports betting money back to the state of Kansas, saying:
We have to try to figure out how to get this over the finish line. I’d like to see if we can come up with a compromise … fix this thing and maybe do a little magic. We’re missing out on a nice chunk of money.
Lots of steps left to climb before that happens so keep checking 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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