Kansas lawmakers are introducing a sports betting bill that lays out who will run the new market and also includes the controversial “integrity fees” demanded by the professional sports leagues. It’s an interesting take on the emerging market that could be seen in statehouses across the United States.

SB 455 was introduced last week in the state Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs by State Senator Bud Estes. This bill puts the Kansas Lottery in charge of Sunflower State sports betting, while the State Gaming Commission will handle the more sensitive relationship between sportsbooks and the professional sports leagues.

The professional sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and NCAA) have long opposed regulated sports betting in the US, but have recently decided that it’s probably all right, so long as they get a piece of the action. Under the terms of SB 455, the leagues would take in .25 percent of the handle with a cap at five percent of the bookmakers’ total revenue.

But the leagues won’t get everything they want, should SB 455 pass into law. Under the terms of the bill, sports betting operators can use any data source they want to set lines, but must use the leagues’ data flow when setting lines for in-play wagering. Also, the leagues will maintain the right to ask for wagering to be halted on certain events, but no guarantees were made that those requests would actually be headed.

The Kansas bill is just out of committee and must face scrutiny in the Kansas House and Senate. A decision from the US Supreme Court on the legality of sports betting in the United States is due sometime within the next couple of months.


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