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Lawmakers Considering Bill to Legalize Fantasy Sports in Kansas

Stephen Koranda

A Kansas lawmaker is pushing to make fantasy sports legal in Kansas. Republican Representative Brett Hildabrand has introduced a bill that would change state law to specifically allow fantasy sports. He says the state is not currently enforcing the ban on fantasy football and similar games, and he wants to prevent future enforcement.

“I want to make sure on down the road in this growing industry that we do not begin prosecuting average law-abiding citizens who are just trying to participate in a friendly pastime,” says Hildabrand.

The Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission says fantasy sports leagues that require participants to pay an entry fee count as an illegal lottery.

Supporters of the bill say fantasy sports are games of skill, not games of chance, so they shouldn’t be counted as gambling. They point out that fantasy sports are legal under federal law and in more than 40 states.

A House committee could vote on the bill next week.

Stephen Koranda is the Statehouse Bureau Chief for Kansas Public Radio.