State could legalize sports gambling

The four companies managing state-affiliated casinos in Kansas linked arms Wednesday to urge legislators and the governor to join two dozen other states in legalizing online or casino sports gambling.

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February 11, 2021 - 9:40 AM

TOPEKA — The four companies managing state-affiliated casinos in Kansas linked arms Wednesday to urge legislators and the governor to join two dozen other states in legalizing online or casino sports gambling.

The issue has been percolating at the Kansas Capitol since the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 upheld the right of states to regulate sports gaming. Half the nation’s states have taken the plunge into sports betting, while lawmakers in Kansas struggle to settle on a framework acceptable to the Kansas Lottery, casino management companies, politicians and lobbyists.

Jeff Morris, an executive with Penn National Gaming licensed to operate Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas, said the latest incarnation of a solution for Kansas — Senate Bill 84 — was suitable from financial, regulatory and marketing perspectives. In the Senate Federal and Affairs Committee, he joined representatives of state-authorized casinos in Mulvane, Dodge City and Pittsburg in support of the bill.

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