This week is a key period for several states attempting to legalize sports betting.
Here are the latest updates for online sports betting in Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Missouri as they look to implement statewide sports wagering.
After some key changes, a Kansas sports betting bill is headed to the Senate following passage on the House floor on Thursday. SB 84 passed with a 73-49 vote, giving new hope that Kansas will legalize sports betting. SB 84’s approval came following a second legislative conference committee.
The first conference was necessary to implement changes to improve its chance of passage. The House added a stipulation that 80% of the tax revenue from sports betting would go towards a fund to attract professional sports franchises to the state.The Secretary of Commerce will also oversee the fund instead of the state Finance Council.
Kansas lawmakers also decided to remove a provision requiring a repayment of fees to race tracks.
The Massachusetts Senate passed a sports betting bill on Thursday, giving lawmakers two sports betting measures that have now passed. Nine months ago, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed its own version of a sports betting bill.
The Senate and House bills have important differences.
Under the House bill, betting on college sports is permitted, whereas it’s banned under the Senate bill. The Senate bill also does not allow credit cards to be used to place bets.
Now, a six-person conference committee consisting of Senate and House members must work together to draft a sports betting bill to present to Gov. Charlie Baker, who will sign or veto it by July 31.
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Minnesota continued to make progress in bringing a legalized sports betting market to the state.
Minnesota’s sports wagering bill, HF 778, passed through the House Ways and Means Committee with a 14-7 vote. HF 778 already has been approved in other committees.
Now, the bill heads to the House floor. No action on the bill has been scheduled.
HF 778 is sponsored by Rep. Zack Stephenson. The bill would permit online and retail sports betting in the state. Under the bill, there would be two master licensing agreements, with one going to the northern Ojibway tribes and the other for the southern Dakota tribes.
Minnesota would receive a 10% tax on profits from online sports betting, with 60% of that going to assist problem gambling resources.
Missouri’s latest attempt at sports betting legalization appeared to have stalled out. HB 2502 was brought to the Senate on Wednesday and would have legalized sports betting and video lottery terminals. With a tax rate of 8% on sports wagers, Missouri projected nearly $10 million in revenue per year.
But the key holdup was the dispute over the video lottery terminals. An amendment to the bill would have limited the gaming machines, and when that happened, some lawmakers took issue with the bill and decided to filibuster the amendment.
The bill is supported by the state’s professional sports teams, including the two MLB betting teams, the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals.
The bill and amendment never came to a vote on Wednesday.
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