The State Of Kansas Would Like To Benefit From Sports Betting As Well
Kansas took a while to come around to allowing for paid fantasy sports game play within its borders. Now, the Sunflower state does not want to wait while states continue to change their gambling laws to take advantage of legalized, regulated sports wagering. It could become part of the initial group of states that provide sports wagering options to its constituents and guests.
Kansas State Senator Bud Estes says that sports gambling is probably going to happen in some form and is asking lawmakers to attend a special interim committee session on the topic this week. Estes believes that Kansas does not know much about sports betting, he is interested in becoming more educated about the subject and he wants to stay away from passing legislation that benefits interest groups.
Kansas recently elected a new governor who is also in favor of adding legalizing sports betting to the state’s existing casino gaming offerings. Estes and others would like to make sure that if sports wagering becomes legal, the tax rates are not so high so as to cause operators to pass the costs to consumers, causing consumers to still be incentivized to resort to bookies and offshore sportsbooks.
The state still must also work out how extensively sports betting will be offered. For instance, will bets need to be placed in a land-based casino or will bettors have the ability to make their bets through mobile applications?
In January, a Kansas bill was debated in advance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding that shot down the existing federal ban on sports betting. That bill concerned putting in place a system that could have allowed for legalized and regulated sports betting as soon as the Supreme Court came out with its decision. However, nothing ever came of the debate and the bill was not put in front of the governor for execution into law.
One of the concerns voiced by Kansas Representative Ron Highland was that it was implausible to predict what kind of revenue would come from legalized sports betting. Now that there are eight states offering sports betting, there is actual data outside of Nevada for Kansas politicians to consume. For instance, some who may have been skeptical about the potential for sports betting to bolster Kansas’ budget could have changed their minds after noticing the success of New Jersey, which has had over $500 million wagered on sports since legalization in June and $260.7 million in legal wagers in October alone.