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March 14, 2019
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Minutes for HB2752 - Committee on Federal and State Affairs

Short Title

Creating the Kansas sports wagering act.

Minutes Content for Tue, Mar 13, 2018

Chairperson Barker opened the informational hearing on HB2752

Chairperson Barker stated that it is tournament time, and he has read that several billion dollars are being bet illegally in the United States in connection with March Madness.  The Supreme Court has under advisement a bill out of New Jersey which would allow states to make their own decisions on sports betting.  A number of people have asked him what sports betting is so that's the reason for this informational hearing.

Jason Long, Revisor, provided an overview of the bill (Attachment 15)

Chairperson Barker recognized Bryan Seeley who provided Major League Baseball's perspective on sports betting (Attachment 16).  Sports betting is one of the threats to the integrity of baseball.  To manage the significant integrity risks posed by legalized sports betting, states must enact comprehensive regulations requiring airtight coordination and partnership between the state, the casino operators and the sports leagues to closely monitor wagers and enforce regulations to prevent potential manipulation. 

Whitney Damron testified in support of sports wagering in Kansas but opposes HB2752 (Attachment 17).  They oppose the integrity fee.  They don't see sports wagering as a big money maker. They would support legislation modeled after the law in West Virginia. 

Richard Klemp with Boyd Gaming provided comments on sports wagering.  No written testimony was provided.  The testimony provided by Mr. Damron states everything they think is necessary.  He disagrees with Representative Kessinger's recommendation to lower the integrity fee to .25 percent,  Nevada is the gold standard in the industry, and it does not charge an integrity fee. They are working with the Revisor's Office to develop a workable sports betting bill should it become available.

Chairperson Barker recognized Matt Bergmann, who did not provide any written testimony.  He concurs with Mr. Damron and Klemp.  They also oppose the integrity fee, believing that it would put Kansas at a disadvantage as to competition because of the already thin margins in the sports betting world.  With regard to the language in the bill on data or utilization of data, there are at least two federal court decisions that indicate that statistics or sports data is not intellectual or protected copyright property.  There are also some structural flaws in HB2752; specifically, the absence of a definition of sports wagering revenue and the term sports event, as well as the constitutional issues.  Without clarity as to those terms, there is a potential risk of violating K.S.A. 74-873(h)(19), which prohibits the state from authorizing a same or similar gaming facility throughout the duration of the existing lottery contracts with the casinos.  If there was a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that would allow sports betting, it should be through the brick and mortar casinos because they have already been vetted and have gone through a process that allows them to operate in Kansas.  They are opposed to the bill in its current form.

Chairperson Barker noted that there was written testimony from Representative Jan Kessinger (Attachment 18); Kevin Uhlich, Kansas City Royals (Attachment 19); and Dan Spillane, National Basketball Association (Attachment 20)

Chairperson Barker closed the informational hearing on HB2752.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 10:22 a.m.