Betting on Which Kansas Sports Wagering Bill Will Pass

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Nick Apel

Nick is a 3L at the University of Kansas School of Law. Nick received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kansas. Professionally, Nick is interested in patent law. In his free time, Nick enjoys spending time with family and friends. Nick is also a Kansas City Chiefs fan.

Kansas is currently considering two different bills to legalize sports wagering. The introduction of these bills comes in wake of the landmark Supreme Court case Murphy v. NCAA in 2018. 1 In Murphy, the Supreme Court determined the constitutionality of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“the Act”)—a federal law which prohibited States from authorizing sports wagering. 2 The Supreme Court determined, amidst controversial policy considerations, the Act unconstitutional, allowing States to introduce their own sports betting legislation. 3 In reference to preemption arguments the Supreme Court stated, “there is simply no way to understand the provision prohibiting state authorization as anything other than a direct command to the States. And that is exactly what the anticommandeering rule does not allow.” 4

The Kansas House has introduced House Bill 2671, and the Kansas Senate has introduced Senate Bill 283. 5 The Kansas House heard testimony from various groups and organizations on March 12, 2020 but adjourned without voting on the bill. 6 Therefore, House Bill 2671 has not made it to the Kansas Senate yet. The Kansas Senate, on the other hand, passed its version of the sports gambling bill on February 26, 2020. 7 Senate Bill 283 will now move onto the Kansas House.

The two bills have some drastic differences but also some striking similarities. 8 House Bill 2671 makes the Kansas Lottery regulator and operator of sports betting, mandates “official league data,” and comes with a high tax rate. 9 Senate Bill 283 has about half the tax rate, “calls for state-wide mobile sports betting . . . and does not have an official league data mandate.” 10 Those opposed to House Bill 2671 cite to the high tax rate and the fact that there would be no limit on lottery kiosks—enabling sports betting anywhere. 11 However, both bills would allow for some form of an online sports wagering platform. 12 Both House Bill 2671 and Senate Bill 283 would also run—in at least some capacity—through the Kansas Lottery. 13 This could result in the Kansas Lottery having a monopoly over sports betting in Kansas, like the D.C. Lottery will likely see from passing a bill very similar to House Bill 2671. 14

It is highly unlikely both bills will progress through the Kansas House and Kansas Senate. One will surely outlive the other. “Many of those who [have already] testified” favor Senate Bill 283. 15 Senate Bill 283 is also closer to being enacted because it has successfully passed through the Kansas Senate. However, local and national concerns over the recent outbreak of COVID-19 will likely slow the progress of either bill.

  1. 138 S. Ct. 1461 (2018).
  2. Id. at 1468.
  3. Id. at 1484–85.
  4. Id. at 1481.
  5. H.B. 2671, 2020 Leg., Reg. Sess. (Kan. 2020); S.B. 283, 2020 Leg., Reg. Sess (Kan. 2020).
  6. Jill R. Dorson, Operators Bash Kansas House Sports Betting Bill, SportsHandle (Mar. 12, 2020),
  7. Jill R. Dorson, Kansas Sports Betting Moves Forward Amid Controversy, SportsHandle (Feb. 27, 2020),
  8. See Dorson, Operators Bash Kansas House Sports Betting Bill, supra note 6.
  9. Id.
  10. Id.
  11. Id.
  12. See Kan. H.B. 2671; Kan. S.B. 283.
  13. Id.
  14. See Dorson, Operators Bash Kansas House Sports Betting Bill, supra note 6.
  15. Id.

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