Are Arizona and Kansas close to legalizing sports betting?

By Ucatchers

Arizona and Kansas are two more states on the way to legalizing sports betting. Both have hearings on betting measures scheduled for this week.

Arizona has the support of Governor Doug Ducey, the Legislature, professional sports leagues, and state-recognized Native American tribes.

The supplemental bill to be adopted by the Arizona House and Senate will allow 10 online and retail sports licenses for the state’s Native American tribes.

The bill includes 10 additional sports betting licenses for other venues like racetracks.

The House and Senate will hold their hearings on two consecutive days. If the bill survives through these, it will allow other professional sports facilitiesLike motor sports sites and golf courses, also open sports betting houses.

This means potential sports betting at the home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, NBA’s Phoenix Suns, NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes, and MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks. TPC Scottsdale, which last week hosted the PGA Tour’s annual Phoenix Open, could also open a sportsbook on the site, as could Phoenix Raceway.

This would make Arizona the third jurisdiction to approve the sports betting houses in the stadium, after Washington DC and Illinois.

Later, there will be discussions about the possible legalization of fantasy sports daily, as Arizona is one of the few remaining states where major carriers DraftKings and FanDuel cannot operate.

Sports betting and daily fantasy discussions are just part of the broader negotiations with the state gambling tribes and their pacts with the state that grant them exclusive gambling rights in exchange for a portion of their income.

The tribes and the government seem optimistic that their future agreement will allow more game options at Native American casinos in addition to sports betting.

Kansas Hearing

Aside from the many similarities, there are certain differences between the legalization programs of the two states.

The Kansas bill will allow up to 12 online sports betting licenses for commercial casinos, as well as expanded retail options for Native American tribes and the largest motorsports site in the state.

As part of a proposal spearheaded by the state Senate, the four commercial casinos in Kansas will be able to partner with up to three online betting operators.

The sports betting bill has significant support from Gov. Laura Kelly and the Republican-led Legislature, but this might not be enough as there are many more things to consider. Some of the key details include tax rates and license eligibility.

There are also concerns about regulatory authority between the State Lottery, which oversees casinos, and the Kansas Racing and Gambling Commission.

Kansas officials seem highly motivated to vote in favor of the proposed legalization due to the increase in health care costs and the decrease in tax revenues.

Meanwhile, both states are motivated by the fact that other states are considering legalizing sports betting.

Source: “Arizona and Kansas Sports Betting Hearings Set This Week,” Action Network, February 8, 2021

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