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Regulating sports betting in Kansas

Posted at 3:47 PM, Feb 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-13 16:16:11-05

TOPEKA, Kan. — Sports betting has been done in the dark for years, now Kansas lawmakers are working to regulate it.

"Go ahead and make it legal so the state can benefit from it,” said Kim Ledbetter.

That is the mood from some after the Supreme Court made sports betting legal across the country.

LISTEN: 41 Files Kansas City Podcast predicts the chances sports betting becomes reality this year in Kansas

The task now—how to regulate it. Some Republicans and Democrats in Kansas agree on the goal, but getting there is different.

During a house committee meeting Tuesday, casino representatives said they should be the only venue for sports betting.

"I am from the position, as long as it is well regulated and accessible to as many consumers as possible, I think it is good for Kansas,” said Johnson County Rep. Brandon Woodard.

"For it to be successful you need to have the mobile app. If you have it in just the four casinos, how could someone who lives 100 miles from a casino place a sports bet,” said Johnson County Rep. Jan Kessinger.

Fan Duel sent a letter to lawmakers urging them to approve betting on mobile devices.

The company says in a six month period $1.6 billion in bets were made in New Jersey, mostly via an app.

The MLB and NBA also sent letters.

Major League Baseball said they want to “ensure any sports betting law does not damage our game.”

The NBA said “ the time has come for a different approach that gives sports fans a safe and legal way to wager.”

The bill, if passed would put the revenue in the state general fund.

41 Action News talked with voters, some say it needs to be more specific, like education or roads and bridges.

"I think putting it into the general fund is a bad idea, it gets allocated in places convenient to lawmakers, it should be in education, something that has a positive impact,” said Bryan Falk.

The NBA is asking for a royalty if passed, $0.25 for every $100 bet.

Tuesday, NASCAR announced they support the regulation of sports betting. The next committee meeting is Monday morning.