Three states made significant progress with bills that would legalize sports betting recently as legislation in Georgia, Kansas and Arizona passed through one of the two chambers in the legislature.
The Georgia Senate voted in favor of SR 135, which proposed an amendment to the state constitution to allow for online sports betting. It passed overwhelmingly by a 41-10 margin, which it needed since a resolution to amend the state’s constitution requires a two-thirds majority. SB 142, which would regulate how the market would operate was also passed.
The bill heads to the House for a vote where it should find some support as there is a nearly identical bill in the lower chamber and it passed through a committee last month. Rep. Ron Stephens, who sponsored the House sports betting bill as well as separate proposal to bring casinos to the state, has said that sports betting will be the easiest gambling expansion to pass.
Kansas’ sports betting legislation, SB 84, passed a general vote on the Senate floor with the majority in favor by a score of 26-12.
The bill will allow both online and retail sports betting by expanding the activity into the scope of the Kansas Lottery. The Kansas Lottery will serve as regulators for the market and the state’s four casinos will be eligible to run both brick-and-mortar and online sportsbooks. Revenue from online sportsbooks will be taxed at 8%.
Kansas seemed posed to legalize sports betting in 2020, but the pandemic pushed the legislation aside after it cleared the Senate.
In Arizona, the House voted 48-12 to pass HB 2772, which would allow tribal casinos and professional sports venues to offer sports betting.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has been an outspoken proponent of expanding the gambling market in his state and is in the midst of renegotiating a gaming compact with the tribes. The bill will almost certainly get the signature if it hits his desk.
The Senate has a sports betting bill of its own, but its having trouble gaining support.