After passing the measure by a vote of 37-1 in the Senate Monday, and 98-21 in the House on Thursday, a bill specifically legalizing fantasy sports will find its way to the Kansas Governor’s desk soon. Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has not yet indicated whether or not he will sign the bill.
In late April, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt penned a legal opinion declaring fantasy sports betting legal in regard to the the state’s constitution – giving the legislature a green light to officially legalize the practice. His opinion centered on whether the pastime is an excersize in skill or a game of chance – and whether it fell under state laws prohibiting private lotteries.
In August the state’s gambling regulator issued a statement declaring that it considered fantasy sports leagues to be lotteries.
Fantasy sports leagues allow players to compete against each other by creating virtual teams, drawn from a pool of real athletes. Prizes are awarded to players who create statistically winning “teams”.
According to data from the lobby group, Fantasy Sports Trade Association, interest in the activity has more than doubled since 2006 with more than 40 million US players participated in 2014 and spending an average of $111 each in league related costs annually.
Most states allow the leagues with only a handful crafting legislation against them.