Casino Operators Must Work with the Lottery if Sports Betting is to Pass in Kansas

The state Senate in Kansas recently passed a sports betting bill that leans in favor of casinos in the region. According to Representative Don Hineman, the bill will not pass in the state House as it stands now. Governor Laura Kelly is not supportive of the measure as she wants to see more money in the bill to go towards the online lottery industry.

Changes Coming?

Rep. Hineman spoke with Legal Sports Report recently, revealing his thoughts on the sports betting bill that passed within the Senate. According to Hineman, the House will be making changes to the measure and he does not expect the Senate bill will move forward as it is now.

Currently, S 283 and H 2671 are up for consideration involving gambling in the state. With S 283, it would allow limited lottery sales to take place online, but restrictions would be in place. The restrictions were requested by the casinos to make sure the games are not like their slot offerings. This is the bill that the governor is not a fan of.

H 2671 was developed by Representative John Barker who created the measure while working with the governor’s office. This bill would provide more for the online lottery when compared to the senate measure.

The Senate bill should be heading to the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs of which Barker is the chair. The Rep has stated that the director of the lottery and the administration need to finish negotiations with the casinos and define the guard rails for the online lottery more completely. This will provide better clarity as to what the lottery is allowed to offer and what is set aside for the casinos in the state.

Some Support for Senate Bill

Hineman did state that the Senate bill is a good one and has better language than the House measure. The House bill places a tiered tax rate on sports bets at 14% when taking place at the casinos and 20% for online. Hineman thinks this amount is too high. He also feels that the bill allowing lottery retailers to offer sports betting would create heavy competition for the casinos.

The Senate bill has a much lower tax rate and is favored by the four casinos in the state. The rate is just 7.5% for casino sports bets and 10% for wagers that are placed online.

Penn National Gaming, an operator in the region, is supportive of the Senate measure. Vice president of public affairs for the group, Jeff Morris commented that Penn is happy that the bill passed within the Senate and will be moving forward.

Morris stated the bill has some of the best practices included in the measure like those in other states on how to create a successful sports betting law. The tax rate in this bill is comparable to those in other states like Iowa and Colorado.

For now, the bill will move on to the House for consideration. If the comments by Hineman are any indication, we should expect the measure to be changed if it moves through the House.

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Logan is based in Los Angeles and is an avid poker player having played in tournaments across the globe. He covers both poker & regulatory affairs.