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Legal sports betting could be coming to Kansas after U.S. Supreme Court decision

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) - States could soon be gambling that sports betting will bring in more money.

This comes after the United States Supreme Court ruled that it should be allowed in all 50 states.

Fred Waller, an enforcement agent and spokesman for the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, says that decision doesn't mean sports betting in Kansas is legal, just yet.

"First of all, we need to tell the Kansans that it's not legal yet to bet on sports," said Waller.

He says the topic of sports betting in the sunflower state was brought up as recently as two months ago during the legislative session.

Waller says the legislature had two bills in committee, one that would have put sports betting under the watch of the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.

The other bill would have made it the responsibility of the Kansas Lottery.

"There was a start, there was some discussion, they, I think decided to table it until the Supreme Court ruling come out," said Waller.

Waller says signing off on sports betting in Kansas could come with some positives.

"You know, the first thing you would think about is more jobs, the second would be the increased income, there is going to be a percentage of that, and I don't know what that's going to be that would go to the state of Kansas," said Waller.

He says the decision now ultimately lies in the hands of the Kansas legislature.

"I have not read the Supreme Court brief yet, but we are going to look at that, certainly the legislature, it appears that the regulation of this is returning to the states, and we'll take a look at it when it comes," said Gov. Jeff Colyer.

It's something Kansans, like Jason Sather say, they'd like to see.

"I work with guys that are betting on the Super Bowl, soccer even, I don't think they watch soccer, why not let it be done," said Sather.  "Let the state take some profit from it, it's going to happen," Sather added.

The state of Nevada reported more than $ 3 billion dollars of legal betting on all sports in 2016. 

A CNBC report found that between sixty to seventy billion is illegally bet just on college football each season. 

The NCAA, NFL and NBA all backed the federal prohibition.

KSN contacted Boyd Gaming, which oversees the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane.

In a statement, they said that they see the "expansion of sports betting as a growth industry."


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