TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas lawmakers have reached an agreement on a bill that legalizes sports betting.
After rounds of meetings, the House and Senate Federal and State Affairs conference committee finalized the plan Friday.
A late night lies ahead for lawmakers as they plan to move the final plan to both chambers.
One of the big items is the Attracting Professional Sports in Kansas fund, which would receive 80% of the state’s portion of sports wagering revenues. The money could then be used by the state finance council to provide a professional sports team with bonds to build a team facility.
The amendment was offered by House Federal and State Affairs chair Rep. John Barker, R-Abilene, and would incentivize new sports teams coming to the area.
“If a team wants to move into Wichita, or the Kansas side of Kansas City we would have some incentive that we can offer them to come…” Barker said during a committee meeting Friday afternoon. “We may be able to attract a professional team, basketball team… maybe a football team.”
The plan also includes restrictions for simulcasts of greyhound racing. It’s a controversial sport that struck a chord with Democrats.
Rep. Louis Ruiz, D-Kansas City, told Kansas Capitol Bureau his caucus believes its a serious issue to consider.
“We look at the more humane aspect of it based on history and dog treatment,” Ruiz said.
The bill also includes a provision use some revenue for the state problem gambling fund and to provide resources for people who need help with gambling addiction. This item was initially passed over in conversations in the committee, but eventually adopted with aspects of both the Senate and House plan.
A conference committee report on the final measure will be released once the bill is brought to the floor.
If this plan passes into law, people could start placing bets possibly within about nine months of it taking effect.