As the state of Kansas looks to join in on the lucrative legal sports betting industry, Senator Bud Estes is urging a state committee comprised of House and Senate members to push for an industry conference.

The purpose of a proposed industry-sponsored conference is to develop a plan of action for bringing legal sports betting to the Sunflower State. If all goes well, Kansas sports betting could be coming soon in 2019.

The proposed meeting regarding KS sports betting doesn’t come without tension on both sides

The proposed conference would take place in New Orleans, and be sponsored by industry giants Sands Las Vegas, Boyd Gaming, owner of the Kansas Star Casino, MGM Resorts International and Scientific Games, and Sportradar. All of these members could have a vested interest in bringing legalized wagering to the state of Kansas.

Estes has been at odds with other lawmakers, namely Rep. John Carmichael, who is opposed to the meeting in its entirety. Carmichael claims that the premise of the meeting is an “embarrassment to the Legislature”. He claims that the situation is very quid pro quo, and that the conference is simply a ploy to gain sponsorship by accepting hospitality from the industry sponsors.

Refuting the claim by Carmichael, Estes reiterates that the purpose of the conference is simply to gain information about potentially adding sports wagering to the state of Kansas. He claims that the conference is simply about learning “How it all works, why it works, that sort of thing.” Furthermore, he claims that the purpose of the conference isn’t to convince legislators on how to legalize KS sports betting, but rather be an informative session instead.

The KS sports betting session

Estes has made efforts to set up meetings with the members of the committee (including Carmichael) prior to the session in mid-January. However, the first meeting was cancelled prior to any information being shared. The hope is to set up a short meeting prior to the conference date to discuss a report regarding the information that will be discussed at the conference.

A potential sports betting app could be on the horizon if KS sports betting is legalized soon in 2019. However there are plenty of details that need to be worked out before a potential final legalization of KS sports betting. A Kansas mobile app would be the likely first step if all of the hurdles are passed, followed by potential brick and mortar locations where sports betting would take place.

As the movement takes additional steps, there is one major supporter of legalized KS sports betting, including Governor Laura Kelly. Details regarding a royalty for the sports leagues themselves would need to be worked out, and a proposed 0.25% royalty has been discussed, a number that was proposed by a lobbyist that represents the major sports leagues. However, casinos are opposed to potential royalties, as they claim on the whole that a royalty makes sports wagering less economically viable in the long run.