TOPEKA, (KSNT)— The Kansas House passed a plan to legalize sports betting in the state around midnight, after an overnight session Friday.
A conference committee report on Senate Bill 84 was adopted in a vote of 63 to 49.
The House and Senate Federal and State Affairs conference committee finalized an agreement on the bill, including provisions to restrict greyhound racing, address gambling addiction and attract new sports teams to come to the state.
This comes as there’s been talks of a potential Kansas City Chiefs move.
In conversations on the House floor, some lawmakers speculated a new stadium may be built in Kansas with the money set aside in the bill to recruit sports teams through the “Attracting Professional Sports to Kansas Fund.”
While the sports betting measure has gained support on both sides of the aisle, some expressed concerns over whether the plan was being rushed.
“I don’t know what happened in the majority party’s caucus, but I know that in my caucus, there wasn’t any mention ever about 80% of the money going to build a new sports stadium, presumably in the Wyandotte or Johnson County area,” said Rep. John Carmichael, a democrat from Wichita. “There wasn’t any discussion whatsoever about this new fourth branch of government called the LCC being in charge of making that decision…sadly, I feel like someone was pulling a fast one on me…”
Some republicans stood in opposition to the bill, as they spoke about the future impact of sports gambling.
“Sports betting in Kansas is estimated to be a three-quarter of a billion dollar to a billion and a quarter dollar annual amount of wagering. You literally with this bill would be doubling the amount of betting in Kansas in one swoop,” said Rep. Paul Waggoner, R-Hutchinson.
The Senate adjourned around 1 a.m. before taking up the plan. They could still bring it up when lawmakers return from a three-week break.
Veto session begins when they reconvene April 25, where they can decide to override vetoes on proposals rejected by the governor.