Kansas sports betting is a signature away from becoming reality.
Early Friday morning, the Kansas Senate voted 21-13 to approve Senate Bill 84. It now goes to Gov. Laura Kelly, who is thought to support sports betting. Kansas became the first state legislature in 2022 to pass a sports betting bill.
“So glad that this finally happened!” Kansas House Rep. Stephanie Sawyer Clayton said on Twitter. She has been one of the big drivers of the bill in the House.
Reworked Bill Passed House Thursday
The House passed a substitute version of SB 84 by a 73-49 margin Thursday afternoon. The original bill passed the House by an 88-36 margin March 30.
A late addition to the bill allocated 80% of all revenue to a professional sports fund meant to help lure the Kansas City Chiefs from Missouri to Kansas. The version of SB 84 going to the Governor changed the management of that fund to the Department of Commerce.
“I am very pleased that the House passed SB 84 again,” Clayton told BetKansas.com Thursday evening. “This is excellent economic development, in particular for Johnson and Wyandotte counties.”
Rep. Clayton said in an interview with BetKansas.com earlier this month that the state’s ability to pass SB 84 would answer the calls of constituents who have long asked for legalized wagering in the state.
What the Bill Does
The legislation, which allows four state-owned casinos and a handful of professional sports teams to partner with mobile and retail sportsbook operators, paves the way for Kansas to join Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona and more in giving the green light to wagering.
It’s the biggest development in Kansas gaming since 2007, when the state’s legislature passed the Expanded Lottery Act, which granted the ability to own and operate a "destination casino resort" in each of the four quadrants of the state.
Kansas Beats Missouri to Punch
The state’s sports betting legislation has moved along at a faster clip than Kansas’ rival Missouri.
It looked like the two states would cross the finish line simultaneously. But passage of Missouri’s HB 2502 appears grim after it faced a senatorial filibuster over video lottery terminals earlier this week.
“There has been for several years a symbiotic relationship in the border war between Kansas and Missouri and sports betting plays a role in that long held battle in sports,” said Brendan Bussmann, who serves as a partner and director of government affairs for gaming and hospitality consulting firm Global Market Advisors. “Kansas has definitely been the driver on legalizing Kansas sports betting apps and sites s this year by leading the charge and looks to still be the first one to get it across the finish line.”