Online lottery talk determines fate of Kansas sports betting bill

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Casino operators will likely have to give ground on the online lottery to get Kansas sports betting, according to a lawmaker on the lodge side.

the Senate passed a pro-state casino industry-friendly KS sports betting bill on Wednesday.

However, Representative Don Hineman recount Legal sports report this Governor Laura Kelly will not support the sports betting bill as passed by the Senate. Hineman says the governor wants more money for the state in the bill through the online lottery.

“There will definitely be changes on the House side,” Hineman said. “I don’t expect the Senate bill to survive intact, especially because the administration is against it. It will at least need to be modified to open up the iLottery a bit to provide a greater online presence.

iLottery negotiations underway in Kansas

In many ways, Kansas is about to take a similar route to sports betting in Michigan.

In the Wolverine State, the House passed a pro-casino bill. Next, the administration engaged on the Senate side to get more money for the state with a particular focus on protecting the iLottery.

S 283 allows limited sales of state lottery tickets online with casino-requested restrictions so online games don’t look too much like slot machines.

Representative John Barkerpresident of the House Committee on Federal and State Affairsdeveloped H2671 in collaboration with the governor’s office. The Senate bill is expected to head to its committee, where it can help facilitate discussion between the casino industry and the administration.

“I think the lottery director and administration needs to complete negotiations with the casinos and more fully define the guardrails for iLottery to better delineate what is allowed for the lottery and what is reserved for the four casinos” , Hineman said. “If this is done and the administration feels comfortable with the product, it has a good chance of surviving.”

Kansas sports betting language better in Senate bill

Hineman has indicated that he prefers the bill passed by the Senate to the legislation currently in the House.

“The Senate passed a very good bill, in my opinion,” Hineman said.

The bill sets a progressive tax rate of 14% for bets placed in casinos and 20% for online, which Hineman says is too high. He also thinks the way the House bill allows sports betting in Kansas at more than 1,200 lottery retailers in the state is problematic in the strong competition it offers to casinos.

The Senate bill is favored by the casino industry for its tiered tax structure to 7.5% for bets made in casinos and ten% for bets placed online.

“We are very pleased with SB 283 as it has been passed by the Kansas Senate,” said jeff morrisVice President of Public Affairs for Penn National Gaming. “I think it contains some of the best practices we’ve learned from other states on how to craft a successful sports betting law. The tax rate is comparable to neighboring states. Iowa is at 7.5% and Colorado at 10%, so it’s right in the middle and allows us to compete with those markets.”

Kansas has four public casinos operated by private companies.

Possible poison pill on the horizon

Hineman warned that Barker could try to slip a provision into the gaming bill to reduce slot machine tax rates at dog and horse racing parks. Such an amendment narrowly failed on the Senate floor.

Kansas has previously licensed such racetracks, but they are not operating due to the belief that they cannot be profitable at present. 40% tax rate. State casinos pay a 22% slot machine tax.

“If he does that, it will be in violation of casino operating contracts,” Hineman said. “They’re going to sue and our own attorney general says they’re going to win. The current tally of what we owe them is $150 million. That’s pretty significant, especially when the predicted sports betting revenue stream in the Senate bill is about $5 million a year for the state.

What’s next for KS sports betting bills

Hineman said it’s hard to know what to expect when it comes to Kansas sports betting support in the House.

“On the Senate side, they were in favor of sports betting. On the House side, we really don’t know yet. This is new territory in terms of legislative discussions. I was frustrated that we didn’t have more conversation about this. But now that the Senate has passed its bill, it’s time for those of us who are advocates on the House side to step up and start engaging our colleagues to help them understand the problem.

The House Federal and State Affairs Commission is one of the three committees exempt from the deadline for sending bills to the other chamber. So the Kansas House could still send its sports betting bill to the Senate, even though the usual crossover deadline has passed.

The deadline for passing legislation in Kansas is April 3. If the House passes the Senate bill with changes, it will have to go through a conference committee.

The legislator will return April 27 to wrap up the session by addressing the bills the Governor vetoed: the Omnibus Appropriations Act and the Omnibus Spending Limits Bill on Reconciliations.

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