Gambling Bills Advance in Georgia, Kansas, and Arizona
2021 continues to be a banner year for online sports betting regulation in the United States. Three more states have advanced legislation out of one legislative chamber. In Georgia, the state Senate has approved a measure to allow online sports betting.
Meanwhile, Kansas is considering a measure for sports betting that will be among the most advantageous for operators. Finally, the Arizona House has passed a bill, but there are concerns from lawmakers over how it is linked to new tribal compacts.
Georgia Senate Passes SR 135
Georgia has been looking at a bill that will amend the state constitution to allow online sports betting. That measure, SR 135, has now passed the state Senate. The bill passed by the necessary two-thirds majority, passing 41-10 last week. The Senate also approved SB 142, a bill that sets guidelines for online sports betting.
For operators looking to offer sports betting in the state, they will have to pay a $10k application fee along with an annual licensing fee of $100,000. Revenues will then be taxed at 16%. Supporters of sports betting claim that the state can get from $30 million up to $100 million in revenue.
Both bills will now move to the state House of Representatives for consideration. There is another bill floating around that would legalize real money online casinos, but lawmakers seem to think that sports betting has the best chance of being passed in 2021.
Kansas Sports Betting Bill Passes Senate
Kansas is looking to legalize both live and online sports betting and a bill has cleared the first legislative hurdle. The Kansas State Senate recently passed SB 84, a bill that will give the Kansas Lottery the ability to offer both retail and online sports betting. Senate members passed the measure by a 26-12 vote.
If passed, Kansas sports betting will be more lucrative than other states as operators only have to pay an 8% tax on revenues. This is about half of what we are seeing in most other regulated states. The question is now whether the bill has enough support in the state House of Representatives. Overall support for the bill is unknown, but it doesn’t appear to be zero, so we could see Kansas join the ranks of states regulating online sports betting this year.
Arizona House Approves Sports Betting Bill
Finally, Arizona is the latest state to have at least one chamber of its legislature approve a sports betting bill. HB 2772 will allow sports betting at both tribal casinos and by pro sports teams in the state. The measure will also legalize fantasy sports betting along with Keno games at fraternal organizations and state horse racing tracks.
Under the measure, tribes will receive 10 licenses for sports betting and will be able to offer wagering at around two dozens casinos in Arizona. Pro sports teams will be awarded 10 licenses as well. These licenses will give the Arizona Diamondbacks and Arizona Cardinals the ability to offer sports betting. NASCAR and the PGA may even be able to offer sports betting in the state.
There is some opposition to the bill as it is linked to a new tribal compact struck between Governor Doug Ducey and state tribes. However, the bill still passed 48-12 and will move on to the state Senate. A similar measure, SB 1797, is being considered there and has similar concerns. However, the state expects to get between $50 to $100 million in revenue from sports betting should the measure pass.
In the end, we suspect that lawmakers will speak out about the secretive nature of the new tribal compacts, but still pass the bill for the greater good of the state.