Published: June 2, 2022

State rep: Kan. sports betting bill not only about luring Chiefs

While the Missouri Legislature was unable to legalize sports betting during this past session, Kansas has signed a sports betting bill into law.

SB 84 received bipartisan support in Kansas' house and senate, and the bill was signed into law by governor Laura Kelly earlier in May.

State representative John Eplee, who represents Doniphan and Atchison County, Kansas says this bill cracks down on any illegal betting going on in the state.

"It does allow people to do this in a legal fashion through our casinos and Kansas Lottery," Eplee told St. Joseph Post. "It will be starting up here soon, because it was signed by the governor."

The Kansas Lottery has until January 1st of 2023 to create a regulatory environment for sports betting, and wagering is expected to start in spring of next year as well.

Around 80 percent of all funds from sports betting in Kansas would be funneled into the "Attracting Professional Sports to Kansas Fund" as an attempt to lure any sports team into the state.

Eplee says this includes but is not limited to the Kansas City Chiefs.

"It could be for any other team or a new team," he said. "Let's say there was expansion of the NFL and there was a new team. Kansas would have an opportunity to get that. Obviously, people think it's a fund to lure the Chiefs across the state line. I'm not sure that's a really good characterization."

Kansas is now the 35th state to legalize sports betting in the United States.

Residents of the state will be allowed to place bets on college and professional teams beginning in the spring of 2023.

Eplee says this legislation will especially beneficial to the state's casinos.

"We included casinos in this so they have an opportunity to be a part of it," he said. "This took a lot of compromise on both sides to get this to the finish line. It's been a long time coming."

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