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Legal & RegulatorySports BettingIndustry

Pyrrhic victory for leagues in Kansas sports betting bill

Calls by the NBA and Major League Baseball for an integrity fee to be paid in any legalisation of sports betting by states haven’t fallen on deaf ears in Kansas.

nbakansas

However, although legislators in Kansas have proposed a bill that includes an integrity fee in any possible legalisation package, the fee has been reduced from the 1% that the two sporting associations had been lobbying for to a more modest 0.25% of handle.

Senate Bill 455 authorises the Kansas Lottery organisation to undertake sports betting, giving it licence to do so via lottery retailers, online sites and operating in conjunction with existing state gaming and horseracing facilities.

Under the bill, the leagues may ask for betting on certain types of games and sporting events to be restricted, but they do not have the final say on whether these will take place. This rests with the Kansas Gaming Commission.

In another move which is sure to provoke debate, S455 allows sports betting operators to use any source of data for basic betting, but data used on things like in-play betting can be dictated by the leagues.

Earlier this month, the Kansas state committees for Federal and State Affairs held hearings to discuss the prospect of sports betting.

 At these hearings, representatives from the states two main commercial casinos (Hollywood Casino & Kansas Star) and officials representing the two state owned casinos (Boot Hill & Kansas Crossing) unanimously opposed the leagues proposals to include an integrity fee or any sort of royalty in legislation.

Another two bills concerning the legalisation of sports betting in Kansas are working their way through both houses at the moment, including one which better favours the leagues so it may be a case of pushing for this bill over its more modest cousin.

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