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Kansas sports activities betting laws stalls as each chambers present totally different approaches
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Kansas sports activities betting laws stalls as each chambers present totally different approaches



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he latest initiative to legalize sports activities betting in Kansas has stalled, amid an absence of consensus over the variety of licenses for the enterprise and different playing points.

Some sports activities betting supporters imagine they nonetheless have time earlier than the Legislature wraps up its enterprise for the yr in Might to get a invoice handed if it’s nearer to a Senate proposal permitting solely a handful of in-person wagering websites than to a Home model permitting tons of, the Related Press studies. However they’ve to beat the opposition of a Home committee chair who would have a key position in drafting any compromise.

As well as, some Democrats search to ban greyhound racing, which might additionally make the invoice’s success tougher. However the Home rejected the concept, costing its sports activities betting plan further votes. The combo of competing pursuits led the Home final week to vote 77-40 in opposition to giving a sports activities betting invoice first-round approval, leaving it in limbo. “We’ll get an opportunity to take one other crack at this, however you’ve obtained to string the needle,” mentioned Rep. Stephanie Clayton, an Overland Park Democrat.

Kansas officers imagine the state’s take from sports activities betting may very well be solely a number of million {dollars} a yr. However even in a conservative-led, Republican-controlled Legislature, many lawmakers need to faucet into wagering already occurring in different states or illegally

The Senate’s plan would restrict on-site betting to Kansas’ 4 state-owned casinos and provides them management of on-line and app wagering. Supporters say that in trade, the casinos would assume the chance of losses from betting on large occasions such because the NCAA’s March Insanity faculty basketball event.

The state structure requires the Kansas Lottery to supervise sports activities betting, simply because it requires lottery possession of on line casino playing exterior of Native American tribal casinos. The lottery contracts with non-public firms to run the state-owned casinos.

Sen. Jeff Longbine, an Emporia Republican who shepherded the Senate’s plans to passage on a 26-12 vote in early March, mentioned he sees a number of choices for passing a invoice, however added: “The Senate has a really stable place.”

The Home plan would permit betting on the state-owned casinos, now-closed racetracks, as many as 1,200 retail shops that promote Kansas Lottery tickets, on-line and thru apps linked to casinos, the tracks and the lottery. Clayton described it because the extra “free-market” method to sports activities betting. The Home plan additionally would give the state a bigger share of the earnings from sports activities betting: 14% from in-person betting and 20% from on-line and app wagering, in comparison with 5.5% and eight% underneath the Senate plan.

The chair of the Home committee that drafted its plan, Republican Rep. John Barker, of Abilene, is a vocal opponent of what he derides because the Senate’s “on line casino invoice.” He additionally dismisses an argument that the Home plan leaves taxpayers extra susceptible to shouldering betting losses. Barker isn’t ruling extra work on the laws this yr. He mentioned if supporters of the Senate’s plan current a brand new proposal, “we are able to work one thing out.” However he added, “It could possibly’t be their proposal.”

In the meantime, some lawmakers see the invoice additionally as a possibility to revive racetracks. State regulation permits lottery-owned slot machines on the tracks, however their house owners have for years mentioned the state’s share of the income is just too excessive to make slots worthwhile. The Home committee added an modification to drop the state’s share of slots income however later stripped the availability out when it appeared more likely to damage the invoice. The Home plan included a proposal to permit Sedgwick County voters to rethink permitting slots on the closed Wichita Greyhound Park after rejecting the concept in 2007, an concept that divides space legislators.

Some lawmakers argued that such strikes would immediate on line casino house owners to sue the state for allegedly violating their contracts with the lottery. Barker is skeptical the casinos would prevail, however different Home members see a giant danger. 



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