Kansas Senate Reviews Sports Betting Legislation Proposal

Kansas is inching closer to legalizing sports betting.  A sports gambling bill is currently under review in the state’s Senate.  The group of lawmakers is performing a second review of the proposed legislation dubbed SB84.  

If passed, the bill will authorize sports gambling through the state’s lottery act.  The Kansas lottery act expansion provides somewhat of a backdoor opportunity to legalize sports betting after the state lawmakers rejected a proposal for such last year.

Kansas Is Progressing In The Right Direction

All signs point to Kansas legalizing sports gambling in the year ahead.  If Kansas lawmakers give the green light to legalizing sports gambling, it will be a boon to sports gambling investing

 Kansas Senator Rob Olsen, who serves as the Senate committee chair presiding over State and Federal Affairs noted the lawmaking body is reviewing options.  Olson also noted the state Senate is considering the pros and cons of allowing smart phone sports gambling apps to be legalized in the new version of the legislation.

The Kansas House is also reviewing another version of the legislation in the form of House Bill 2740.  A Tuesday hearing revealed the bill had considerable support from casinos yet there was some protest in the form of an outcry stemming from power players in the greyhound racing industry.  At the moment, Bill 2740 is still in committee.  

Will An Agreement Be Reached?

Only time will tell if Kansas state lawmakers in the Senate and House will find common ground to pass sports gambling legislation.  At the current moment, both sides have significant disagreements about the details of potential sports gambling rules and regulations.  As a result, the bill has lost momentum and the House vote on the matter has been delayed.

A heated debate pertaining to the morality of sports gambling along with the potential rules for implementing sports gambling within the state occurred throughout the prior week in the Kansas legislature.  A last-minute amendment was voted down.  That amendment would have likely ended the potential for sports gambling legislation passing into law in 2022.  

Instead of quashing the proposed legislation, the Kansas House Committee on Federal and State Affairs decided it was better to adjourn rather than hold a vote on HB 2740.  At the current moment, HB 2740 is written with language that legalizes both retail and web-based sports gambling.

The failure to hold a vote is meaningful as this is the second straight week in which Kansas lawmakers convened to discuss the legislation yet ultimately walked away without taking a single vote.  The legislators reconvened a third time this week in an uncharacteristic move.  The three separate lawmaker meetings are cause for concern as some of those who study the sports gambling industry and Kansas politics believed the bill would quickly transition to the floor for a vote.

Rep. Stephanie Clayton Provides Words Of Encouragement

Though the description of the legislative process as detailed above might not provide much hope for sports gamblers in Kansas and those considering sports gambling investments, there is still a good chance the bill will be passed into law.  

Rep. Stephanie Clayton took to Twitter after the adjournment, stating those in favor of sports gambling should “sit tight” and the lawmakers will “get this out” within the year ahead.  Clayton noted that communications suffered a breakdown yet the lawmakers are likely to overcome those stumbles, possibly as soon as the week ahead. 

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