Kansas has become the 35th US state to legalize sports betting after Governor Laura Kelly enshrined the long-awaited bill into law yesterday.
Following years of negotiations and deadlock, the historic signing of bill SB84 allows both retail and online sports betting to enter the Sunflower State for the first time.
Under the provisions of the bill, the state’s casinos are free to partner with online sportsbook providers and up to 50 retail partners to offer face-to-face sports betting.
Gov. Kelly’s approval comes after the bill was passed through the Senate earlier this month, with legislators voting 21-13 in favor of SB84.
Sports betting in Kansas appears to give casinos and operators a favorable deal, with a 10% tax rate set out by the bill, which is low in comparison to some other legalized states.
“Legalizing sports betting will bring more revenue to our state and grow our economy,” commented Gov. Kelly. “This is another mechanism that casinos, restaurants and other entertainment venues can now utilize to attract Kansans to their establishments.”
The bill contains input from the National Council on Problem Gambling, whose provisions aim to reduce the expected rise of problem gambling following the Sunflower State going live.
The provisions include a 2% problem gambling and addictions grant fund, which would be due on July 1, 2023, and each July 1 afterward, to fund tools such as a helpline with text and chat capabilities and RET provisions.
Moreover, the NCPG provisions include a self-exclusion list, requiring a lottery gaming facility manager to allow players to withdraw from wagering activities for a set amount of time.
Finally, other responsible gambling tools such as time limits on apps and spending limits have been enshrined into the bill, alongside advertisement restrictions including avoiding targeting minors.
Such measures are expected to increase the annual transfer of funds from the State Gaming Revenues Fund to the Problem Gambling and Addictions Grant Fund from $80,000 to $100,000.
After Gov. Kelly has signed the bill, it is anticipated that sports betting could go live in Kansas by this summer, ahead of the upcoming 2022 college football and NFL seasons.