Wheat, prairies and college basketball. The rolling hills that help connect the East and West. Kansas lies in, and in some ways serves as, the heart of the country.
The Sunflower State, though, has historically been slow to legalize forms of gambling while neighboring states have expanded at a faster rate.
That said, Kansas is home to four casinos regulated by the Kansas Lottery and another five properties operated on tribal lands. Those four lottery-run casinos stemmed from the 2007 Kansas Expanded Lottery Act, which authorized the construction of said brick-and-mortars.
The tribal casinos obey the same laws as lottery-regulated properties but do not contribute to the state’s general tax fund.
“Legal gambling” in Kansas includes bingo and instant bingo games; horse and dog racing in counties where voters approved such wagering; and, of course, games such as slots and video poker at approved casinos.
Legalization began in 1974, when lawmakers instituted a constitutional amendment to allow businesses to host bingo for charities. More than a decade later, in 1986, voters approved an Article 15 amendment to “permit, regulate, license and tax” horse and dog racing as well as pari-mutuel wagering.
In 1995, after a dog track closed six months into operations, another track lobbied to authorize slot machines at these facilities. That effort ultimately failed. Seemingly each year through 2006, proposals to expand gambling in Kansas were introduced. But each year, those proposals were rebuffed.
That is, until 2007, when the Kansas Expanded Lottery Act opened the door. Now, the state allows daily fantasy sports and has shown activity to legalize Kansas sports betting.