TOPEKA, Kan. — With the primary spherical of faculty basketball’s March Madness underway, Kansas legislators moved nearer Friday towards legalizing sports betting, although huge disagreements remained over the place followers ought to give you the chance to place wagers.

A state House committee authorised a invoice that will permit sports betting at 4 state-owned casinos, racetracks, as many as 1,200 retail shops that promote Kansas Lottery tickets, on-line and thru apps linked to casinos, tracks and the lottery. It subsequent goes to the total House for debate, presumably as early as subsequent week.

The Senate approved sports betting earlier this month, however its proposal would restrict reside, on-line and app wagering to 4 state-owned casinos, that are operated by non-public corporations beneath contracts with the lottery. If the House approves a invoice, negotiators for the 2 chambers would have to resolve the variations over who will get to supply wagering.

A federal legislation barred sports betting in Kansas and most states till the U.S. Supreme Court struck it down in 2018. Twenty-five states now permit sports betting, in accordance to the American Gaming Association.

“One of the main reasons that we’re trying to do sports betting is there is a huge black market,” stated Sen. Jeff Longbine, an Emporia Republican. “We would rather have them in a legal, regulated environment.”

Kansas officers don’t imagine the state’s take from sports betting can be giant, maybe solely a number of million {dollars} a 12 months.

But even in a conservative-led, Republican-controlled Legislature, many lawmakers need to faucet into wagering that’s already occurring in different states or illegally. The University of Kansas has one among school basketball’s premiere males’s applications, Kansas State University’s soccer staff is recurrently aggressive, and the Kansas City Chiefs are using excessive.

The state lottery’s oversight of sports betting can be required beneath the Kansas Constitution, simply as it’s for casinos aside from these operated by Native American tribes.

Supporters of the Senate plan argue that limiting reside, on-line and mobile-app betting to state-owned on line casino means they — not the lottery — assume the chance of shedding cash on huge occasions such because the March Madness school basketball match or the Super Bowl.

However, Rep. John Barker, an Abilene Republican and the House committee’s chair, questioned whether or not permitting lottery retailers to take wagers would expose the state to a lot precise threat.

“Over an extended period of time, the odds are always with the house,” Barker stated.


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