Top Kansas Lawmaker Not Open To Changing Sports Betting Law

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on December 7, 2022
House Speaker Hawkins does not want talks to change sports betting law

With Kansas sports betting still in its infancy, lawmakers are already discussing changing its laws. However, newly elected House Speaker Dan Hawkins says he has no intention of changing any laws related to sports betting.

Kansas sports betting Bill 84 was designed to lure Kansas City Chiefs

Under Bill 84, passed by the state senate, 80% of revenue from sports betting goes into a fund designed to lure professional sports teams to Kansas. Such funds can be used to build stadiums or upgrade facilities.

Experts believe the last-minute inclusion of the fund was designed to lure the Kansas City Chiefs away from Missouri. But according to the Kansas City Star, Hawkins said he has “no interest, whatsoever” in reopening the law passed in the spring.

Before Hawkins’ comments, Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly said she was speaking with stakeholders about potentially revisiting the bill.

“We actually are discussing that with all parties at this particular point. You know, whenever you pass a bill like that, there will always be sort of unintended consequences.”

Although the House Speaker has made his intentions crystal clear, lawmakers in both parties have shown a willingness to reopen the bill.

Other Kansas lawmakers open to talks on sports betting fund

In a statement, a spokesman for Senate President Ty Masterson said the senate leader “hasn’t had any discussions yet regarding sports gaming but is open to them.”

But the Attracting Professional Sports to Kansas Fund might not be as lucrative as many expect. The state budget office estimated the pot would reach $10 million by 2025.

But in the first two months of legal sports betting, the state has only received $271,000 in revenue despite Kansas gamblers betting over $350 million.

The fund will most certainly miss its $10 million goal if the trend continues. There is one bright side, Super Bowl betting and March Madness are both on their way.

The Super Bowl is the single most bet-on sporting event in the US. While the month-long NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament remains one of the most lucrative events for states with legal sports betting.

Photo by AP Photo/John Hanna/PlayUSA
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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