Online Poker and Gambling Laws in Kansas
2021 Update: Can I Play Online Poker in Kansas
Kansas still hasn’t regulated online poker, but the state is moving in the right direction. Sports betting has been a pretty good indicator for the future of online poker in some states. Two sports betting bills are currently making their way through the Kansas legislature. Bill KS SB 283 has made the most headway though. It was passed by the house and then approved by the Senate on Feb. 26, 2020. Now it’s just waiting for Gov. Laura Kelly’s approval. The bill would allow both live and online sports betting.
Things are kind of on hold during the coronavirus pandemic, but there should be some action soon. States willing to expand and accept sports betting are often more open to regulating online poker. We’ll keep an eye on the bill and see how it progresses. If Kansas gives the green light for sports betting we’ll tell you here.
Online Poker in Kansas and the Law in Kansas
There are a few gambling options in Kansas. In addition to tribal casinos, which several states have, Kansas also has state-run casinos. The state also allows charities to run bingos. Gambling is covered in the State Statute, Chapter 21 in Article 64, Section 4, we find the definition of gambling:
21-6404. Gambling. (a) Gambling is:
(1) Making a bet; or
(2) entering or remaining in a gambling place with intent to make a bet, to participate in a lottery or to play a gambling device.
(b) Gambling is a class B nonperson misdemeanor.
This definition relies on the term “bet.” So let’s see how the state defines that. Under Section 3, Kansas defines bet as:
“Bet” means a bargain in which the parties agree that, dependent upon chance, one stands to win or lose something of value specified in the agreement.
The key word in this definition is “chance.” This brings up an interesting argument when it comes to poker. Poker was ruled to be a game of skill at the federal level after a 2012 court ruling. Therefore, you could argue in court that poker isn’t gambling under Kansas law since the game isn’t dependent upon chance. Albeit, no one has made this argument in the Kansas legislature yet, but it means that online poker regulation could face an easier time if senators ever do pick up legislation.
Can I Play Poker on Pokerstars in Kansas?
Before 2011, PokerStars was a great option to play poker in Kansas. Now, PokerStars is only available in a couple of states in the US and Kansas isn’t one of them. PokerStars was forced to leave the country due to a criminal case, but that’s since been solved. States that regulate poker decide whether they’ll let the site operate within their borders again, but Kansas is still a bit away from that stage.
Luckily, there are plenty of solid PokerStars alternatives for poker players in Kansas. We’ve reviewed sites that accept players from all 50 states. They have great tournaments, guaranteed prize pools, rewards programs and so much more. We’ve put Ignition Poker at the top of our list with other sites like Americas Cardroom not far behind. Check out the full reviews below:
Legal Gambling in Kansas
There’s a bit of legal gambling in Kansas and there are a fair amount of casinos too. There are five Native American Casinos in Kansas. These are all large casinos with slot machines, bingo halls, buffets and table games. Here’s a breakdown of the casinos in Kansas:
Indian Casinos Include:
- 7th Street Casino – 20,000 square feet, 600 slots, open 24 hours
- Casino White Cloud – 21,000 square feet, 380 slots, live and electronic table games
- Golden Eagle Casino – 45,000 square feet, 750 slots, 16 tables game including blackjack, roulette, craps, poker
- Prairie Brand Casino – 35,000 square feet, 1,100 slots, 31 table games, poker room
- Sac & Fox Casino – 30,000 square feet, 700 slots, 10 table games, poker room
State Owned Casinos Include:
- Boot Hill Casino – 580 slots, 16 table games with 2 poker tables, open 24 hours
- Hollywood Casino – 100,000 square feet, 2,000 slots, 52 table games
- Kansas Star Casino – 1,300 slots, 32 table games offering Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, 3 Card Poker, etc.
- Kansas Crossing Casino & Hotel – Approved on June 23, 2015, featuring 625 slot machines, 16 table games, and a 123 room hotel. It cost $80 million and had its grand opening on April 8, 2017.
Kansas has a state lottery that was established in 1987. In its first year it had a revenue of $65,804,532 and contributed $11,343,321 to the state and has grown every year since. Last year the lottery had a total revenue of $295,282,190 and contributed $74,909,328 to Kansas’s coffers. The state also allows for dog and horse racing, but there are currently no tracks operating in the state.
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