Gambling in Kansas is generally prohibited unless specifically authorized by the state.
State-sanctioned gambling is managed and regulated by the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.
Authorized forms of gambling include casino-style games (both tribal and non-tribal), lottery games, charitable bingo and raffles, DFS contests, and pari-mutuel betting.
Kansas Gambling Law Summary
The definition of gambling in Kansas is expansive. As per Kansas Statutes 21-4303, gambling is “making a bet, or entering or remaining in a gambling place with intent to make a bet, to participate in a lottery, or to play a gambling device.” Engaging in unsanctioned gambling is a class B nonperson misdemeanor, which upon conviction can result in a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Most gambling-related matters are covered by Kansas Statutes 21-64: Crimes Against the Public Morals. Regulations about lottery games, pari-mutuel racing, and tribal gaming oversight can be found in Kansas Statutes 74-87, 74-88, and 74-98. The minimum gambling age is 18 for lottery games, bingo, and raffles, and 21 for casino-style games.
|Land-Based Gambling||Yes||Commercial and tribal casinos|
|Online Gambling||Yes||Daily fantasy sports and horse race betting only|
|Charitable Gaming||Yes||Bingo and raffles|
|Minimum Gambling Age||18 for pari-mutuel, bingo, and lottery games; 21 for casinos|
Online Gambling in Kansas
While the Kansas Statutes don’t address the issue of online gambling directly, there is zero doubt that the general regulations also apply to internet games. This means that Kansas residents don’t have access to any legal online gambling options aside from social gaming sites such as Zynga or MyVegas. DFS contests aside, local politicians have never pushed for online gambling legalization, so this situation is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.
According to Section 21 of the Kansas code, placing any type of wager is illegal unless everything is settled in a state-controlled environment. Operating unlicensed online gambling services is most definitely illegal, but the legal status of individual players is somewhat ambiguous since there are no regulations that would expressly prohibit getting some action on one of the offshore sites. One of the things that you should keep in mind is the fact that most offshore operators do accept new customers from Kansas – and since the local authorities don’t go after individual players, most people assume that playing the games is perfectly legal by itself.
Casino-style gaming used to be all about tribal casinos, but in 2007, the state government enacted the Kansas Expanded Lottery Act, which authorized private developers to build four land-based casinos under a contract with the Kansas Lottery. Today, Kansas residents enjoy access to nine gambling establishments, which are located in Kansas City (7th Street Casino and Hollywood Casino Kansas Speedway), Dodge City (Boot Hill Casino), Horton (Golden Eagle Casino), Mayetta (Prairie Band Casino & Resort, Kansas Star Casino), Pittsburg (Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel), Powhattan (Sac and Fox Casino), and White Cloud (Casino White Cloud).
Online casino games haven’t been explicitly legalized so far, which means that local businesses aren’t allowed to operate casino sites as per the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. Playing on offshore casinos is illegal and constitutes a misdemeanor.
Kansas residents enjoy access to three land-based poker rooms operated by the local casinos: Hollywood Casino Kansas Speedway (12 tables, cash games, and tourneys), Kansas Star Casino (6 tables, cash games, and tourneys), and Boot Hill Casino (6 tables, cash games only). As expected from venues of this size, No-Limit Hold ’em is the name of the game at most tables, although finding a Pot-Limit Omaha or Limit Hold ’em game isn’t an issue.
Kansas-based poker enthusiasts who wish to play over the internet need to stick to social gaming sites. Local businesses aren’t allowed to operate online poker rooms, and playing on offshore sites is considered unlawful gambling, which constitutes a misdemeanor.
Kansas Sports Betting
The legislative push for legal sports betting in Kansas began in January 2018 when Rep. Jan Kessinger introduced an ambitious bill that would allow all lottery vendors to offer sports betting products. Kessinger’s proposal was deemed controversial as it would make this form of gambling widely accessible. Thus, the bill didn’t get any action after the Supreme Court struck PASPA from the books in May 2018. However, this issue is guaranteed to be back on the agenda in 2019, and it seems that the only point of contention pertains to the number of venues that should have access to the new business. Regardless of the outcome of this political clash, online betting is off the table this year.
Pari-mutuel horse and dog race betting used to be legal in the Sunflower State, but as of August 2008, all licenses have been revoked.
Kansas Daily Fantasy Sports
Governor Sam Brownback signed the Kansas DFS bill in May 2015 after gaining the overwhelming approval of the House and Senate. It excludes DFS leagues from the definition of a “bet” as long as they meet certain conditions: all prizes and awards must be made known to participants in advance of the game, and the winning outcomes must reflect the participants’ knowledge and skill and cannot be based on score, point spread, or the performance of individual athletes.
This means that Kansas residents have access to all the popular DFS platforms, such as FanDuel, DraftKings, or Yahoo DFS.
Founded in 1987, the Kansas Lottery is a charter member of the Multi-State Lottery Association. Thus, Kansas residents enjoy access to both local and multi-state draw games, including Mega Millions, Powerball, and Lucky for Life. Also, the Kansas Lottery offers daily draw games, scratchers, pull-tabs, Keno, and raffles. Lottery customers can take advantage of several promotions, such as Second Chance drawings and the PlayOn loyalty program. The Kansas Lottery isn’t allowed to offer its products over the internet, so all tickets must be purchased directly from land-based retailers.
Bingo is available as a charitable game and commercially in casinos. Unfortunately, local businesses aren’t permitted to operate online bingo sites because of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act – this form of gambling hasn’t been explicitly legalized in Kansas. Playing on offshore sites is patently illegal and constitutes a misdemeanor.
Kansas Online Gambling FAQ
What types of gambling are available in Kansas?
Kansas used to be a regional gambling hotspot back in the 19th century, but there’s simply no denying the fact that the current regulations aren’t exactly gambling-friendly. Kansas residents are free to enjoy pari-mutuel betting and charitable gaming, and the state operates a rather popular lottery. However, Kansas lacks Indian casinos or even commercial gambling establishments, which means that the number of legal land-based gambling options is minimal. Online gambling, on the other hand, isn’t regulated at all, which means that it’s hard to determine with 100% certainty whether playing on offshore sites is legal or not.
What laws cover online gambling in Kansas?
Most of the issues about real money gambling are covered by Section 21 of the Kansas code. None of those statutes can be interpreted as dealing specifically with online gaming. Unfortunately, you have to keep in mind that it wouldn’t be impossible for state officials to claim that these outdated regulations extend to online gambling action. On a brighter note, the risk is purely theoretical, as the state simply doesn’t go after individual gamblers.
Is real money online gambling legal in Kansas?
Online gambling isn’t explicitly banned within the borders of Kansas. Consequently, most people believe that residents are free to enjoy all the action they can get on offshore sites. However, if you have any doubts regarding playing on a specific site, you should probably consider contacting a lawyer before opening a real money account.
Which offshore gambling sites accept Kansas residents?
US-facing casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks have no issues with accepting Kansas residents.
What are the most popular banking options supported by Kansas-facing sites?
The available payment options usually include Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, but we recommend sticking with Visa for maximum reliability. In most cases, the fastest and least expensive cashout method is to request a bank wire transfer.
Does Kansas offer any intrastate online gambling?
No. Contrary to what some individuals would have you think, Kansas doesn’t have a regulated iGaming market. Offshore companies operate all the legitimate Kansas-facing sites.
Is it likely for Kansas to regulate online gambling?
Kansas lawmakers have been very skeptical about legalizing intrastate online gambling. Any positive change in this regard would most likely have to be preceded by a general shift of attitude in the entire nation.