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Kansas lawmakers discuss sports betting legalization, seek to achieve it in this year's session

Kansas State Capitol.
United States
Reading time 1:07 min

The state of Kansas is starting to move towards the right direction to legalize sports betting during this year’s legislative session. 

On Wednesday, the state Senate’s Committee on Federal and State Affairs listened to a presentation on legalizing sports betting which included a breakdown of the differences between the Senate bill that passed last year and the House bill that failed to pass, as reported by KAKE News

Senator Robert Olson, who chairs the committee, said he was going to work hard with their counterparts in the house to see where the two can compromise on a bill. He also added that passing some version of this bill is one of his top priorities. 

“You see Iowa and states around us that are having a nice chunk of money come in, because it’s legal in those states”, he pointed out.

Olson believes sports betting could bring $25 to 35 million annually to the state, depending on the organization of the bill. That is money that could go to roads,  schools or other programs in need of funding. 

Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau says the urgency that Olson is showing definitely boosts the odds of a bill getting passed. 

“I've served on this committee for quite some time now. And I've never had it where the chairman opens up on the second or third day of the session. And, you know, just right to the point of a piece of legislation like this,”

Another part of the house bill would allow the Sedgwick County commission to call for a public vote to allow slot machines at racetracks, such as the Wichita greyhound park. Senator Faust-Goudeau says she would like to see that part be bought over on any compromise.

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