Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly signed a sports wagering bill into law on Thursday, paving the way for fans to bet on teams like the Chiefs, Royals, and Jayhawks as early as this summer.
It will also generate revenue for the state government. The Kansas Lottery forecasts that authorised sports betting taxes might generate up to $10 million per year by 2025.
“Legalizing sports betting will bring more revenue to our state and grow our economy,” Kelly said in a news release. “This is another mechanism that casinos, restaurants and other entertainment venues can now utilize to attract Kansans to their establishments.”
Since the United States Supreme Court threw down a federal prohibition prohibiting sports betting in most states in 2018, dozens of other states have made sports betting lawful.
Kansas legislators just narrowly approved the bill this year after late-night votes in both the House and Senate last month.
Republican Sen. Rob Olson said he was excited to finally legalize it because many Kansans wanted it.
“It’s something that Kansans are already doing, and it will bring additional tax revenue to our state to help with our needs,” Olson said.
“My constituents have pushed for this legislation for years, and now, the next time we have a significant sporting event in our state, Kansans will be able to bet on their hometown team.”
Yes, Kansas has legalised sports betting. However, a state-owned casino operator sued the state almost immediately Thursday over a separate provision of the law intended to reopen a long-closed greyhound track in its area.
Before Gov. Kelly signs sports betting legislation on Thursday, state officials and others were unsure when sports fans will be allowed to place bets.
The Kansas Star Casino, owned by Boyd Gaming, is located about 15 miles south of Wichita near Mulvane.
The casino has a contract with the lottery, which it claims has been violated since the new law allows for unfair competition from new gambling devices at Wichita Greyhound Park.
When can Kansans start placing bets?
The law takes effect on July 1. However, it is unclear whether casinos would have their sports books operational before then.
According to the statute, the Kansas Lottery must develop a special mechanism for casinos to apply to offer sports gambling in specific ways, such as through a smartphone app. One of the deadlines for developing the regulations is September 1, 2022.
However, it looks that all of the processes must be in place by the autumn, maybe in time for bettors to wager on the Kansas Chiefs to win their home opener.