Pending Sports Betting Laws Across The Country: Massachusetts, Missouri, and Kansas All Close In On Sports Betting

Pending Sports Betting Laws Across The Country: Massachusetts, Missouri, and Kansas All Close In On Sports Betting
Image © Samantha Madar/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin / USA TODAY NETWORK
✍️ Written by
Frank Weber
🗓 Updated
Aug 23rd 2023

Sports betting is currently legal, in some fashion, in 30 of the 50 states across the country. This number could easily become 33 in just the coming weeks as Massachusetts, Missouri, and Kansas all close in on what could be monumental sports betting laws.

It’s been over three years since the United States Supreme Court reached the landmark decision to end the federal ban on sports betting, meaning all 50 states have had tons of time to flesh things out. Also, that means media companies and gambling companies alike have had the time to build state-of-the-art mobile sportsbooks, which make sports betting all the better. When, and if, the three aforementioned states enter the sports betting world, they’ll be able to join during the sportsbook renaissance, and presumably, their residents will have a ton of options to choose from.

Some of the most popular sportsbooks across the country are:

Here is an update on each of the aforementioned states (Kansas, Missouri, and Massachusetts) and where sports betting currently stands in their legislative limbo.

Massachusetts Sports Betting

A handful of sports betting bills were first introduced to the Massachusetts State legislature in 2019, but those were quickly snuffed out. Fast forward to 2021, and the State Senate session finished without even a sports betting discussion.

However, opinions seemed to have changed in the last year. The Massachusetts State Senate is poised to debate sports betting legislation this Thursday, April 28th.

It should be noted that the Massachusetts House passed a sports betting bill last summer with flying colors (with a vote of 156-3). However, the Senate seemed far less interested in sports betting than the house was–and devised their own bill (the one that will be up for discussion on Thursday).

The biggest difference between the two bills is a ban on collegiate athletic betting in the Senate proposed bill. House Speaker Ronald Mariano drew a line in the sand though, saying a prohibition on collegiate athletic wagering “probably would be” a dealbreaker for him.

When the House bill was being analyzed, an estimated $60 million in annual revenue was to be made for the state. However, Mariano fears that leaving out collegiate athletics would drop that revenue to as low as $25 million.

Another glaring difference between the two bills is their imposed tax rates on sports betting operators. Under the proposed Senate Bill, a tax rate of 20% would be placed on all gross sports wagering receipts from bets placed in person, while at a 35% rate for online wagers. The House bill calls for a 12.5% revenue tax on in-person bets, and a 15% tax on mobile bets.

While things won’t get DONE tomorrow, it’s nice to see that the ball is rolling–and rolling on over to Kansas, we’ll see a state that very well may place legal sports betting legislation in the coming days.

Kansas Sports Betting

Kansas is probably as close as you can get to legalized sports betting right now. The House approved a sports betting bill (SB 84) on April 1st, 2022, which pushed it over to the Senate for approval. The only problem, however, is that the Senate was going on a 3-week veto break–meaning they would have to way for April 25th at the earliest to even look at the bill.

On April 13th, 2022, Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson told a local radio show that the sports betting bill will likely be passed once the chamber reconvenes.

This is all in an attempt by Kansas state legislatures to get more professional sports teams to play in Kansas. While you may be thinking to yourself, What about the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals? Well, to many peoples surprise, they actually play in the Missouri side of Kansas City.

However, with both the Royals and Chiefs flirting with the idea of relocation, Kansas is prepared to step up and accept the two teams with open arms. The new proposed Sports Betting Bill woul set aside 80% of all sports betting revenue into a fund for building professional sports stadiums and arenas.

We should know in the coming days as to whether or not Kansas will go ahead with this new sports betting bill–but all signs are pointing to YES.

Missouri Sports Betting

Missouri, Kansas’ neighbor, won't let the Chiefs and Royals slip through their fingers that easily. They too are on the precipice of legal sports betting, and we could see a finalized bill in the coming days.

House Bill 2502 was first introduced on January 19th and would allow both online and retail sports betting. It has been passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee and has now advanced on to the Committee on Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight.

Under the bill, operators would have to pay an application fee of $150,000 and a renewal fee of $125,000 if they want a sports wagering license. The revenue from sports betting would be taxed at just an 8% rate.

While it may not be as close as Kansas is to legalizing sports betting, Missouri sure is making strides towards legal sports betting.

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