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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While sports betting is a signature away in Kansas, it’s a good bet it won’t happen this year in Missouri.

Many lawmakers on the east side of state line are upset that they haven’t been able to get a sports betting bill passed in Jefferson City.

“It is frustrating,” Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, said Thursday. “I always say usually the most common-sense stuff in this building usually has the hardest time getting across the finish line, just because people feel like they can kind of jab at it, but that’s frustrating. Most of the states around us have it at this point. I might have to move to Kansas City.”

Kansas state Sen. David Haley, D-KCK, said he supported the measure, which passed in Topeka in both the House and Senate and now heads to the governor’s desk.

Eighty percent of the revenue from Kansas’ sports wagering could go toward building a new sports stadium for a professional team. The bill doesn’t say anything about the Kansas City Chiefs, but Kansas lawmakers are hoping to lure the Chiefs from Arrowhead Stadium in Missouri to Kansas once their lease is up at the Truman Sports Complex after the 2030 season.

“Well, maybe, but there are other professional teams,” Haley said when asked whether the passing of the bill had a lot to do with trying to bring the Chiefs to Kansas. “Kansas City, Kansas, is already the home for Sporting KC, which is a world class team and has been very competitive.

“We certainly appreciate that football is America’s number one watched and followed sport, and certainly the Chiefs are a regional team that resonate not just from their current home there at Arrowhead Stadium but wherever their future home may find them, be that in another state or wherever. It will continue to be.”  

Haley believes Kansas Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly will sign the bill. On Friday, though, a spokesman for Kelly said she had not reviewed it yet.

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