Kansas is a conservative state and it takes a conservative stance on gambling, making most forms of gambling illegal. Illegal gambling forms include poker, and this further includes providing no distinction between poker played in public settings such as in a casino or that played in private settings such as one’s home when recreationally played among family and/or friends. Section 21-4303 of Kansas state law notes the following: “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.” Kansas law indicates that illegal gambling is across-the-board considered misdemeanors. There are two minimum gambling ages: 18 for the lottery and bingo and 21 for pari-mutuel and slot machines.
Ahead of the curve compared to other states, Kansas has taken legislative steps toward updating its laws to reflect the increasing popularity of online gambling. However, instead of approving of it, the state has enacted statutory amendments to ban online gambling, also classifying it as a misdemeanor in order to be treated like other gambling offenses. Penalties can include no more than six months incarceration in a county jail and/or a fine not to exceed $1,000. The Kansas House Bill 205 (HB 2055), which was proposed by state representative (senator) LaTurner was robust and provided for the following to be considered misdemeanors pursuant to the New Section 30: Gambling or gaming by use of the internet; gambling or gaming by use of any mobile device; or intentionally providing or offering to provide any form of internet or online gambling or gaming to any person in this state.
There have also been other proposed amendments to HB 2055 including reductions in investments for gaming zones in the Southeastern part of the state – a nearly 80% reduction in investments. Other proposed amendments would get rid of slot machines at racing facilities and ban mobile gaming, which could conceivably face legal challenges since mobile/cellular activity in many ways constitutes private activity. While a person may be conducting illegal business (in the broad sense) over mobile technology, law enforcement must still have probable cause to take action, so it could be a case of putting the cart before the horse.
Casinos in Kansas
There are only a few casinos in Kansas. They include:
- 7th Street Casino
- Boot Hill Casino
- Casino White Cloud
- Golden Eagle Casino
- Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway
- Kansas Star Casino
- Sac and Fox Casino.