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.
For players in Kansas looking to participate in online casinos, the only true option available is Chumba Casino. But it is a pretty good option. Chumba offers a unique sweepstakes model that allows players all over the US to take part and enjoy.
Poker players in Kansas have one option to play online: Global Poker. A trustworthy operator, Global Poker features a sweepstakes model that allows players to play the games they desire for as long as they desire.
Fantasy sports sites offer real-money games — and yes, you can play them inside Kansas’ state lines. We are talking about contests and potential seven-figure prizes. DraftKings is one of the leading fantasy sites.
Updated: June 8, 2020
Legalized sports betting in Kansas took a big step forward in February, as the Senate passed a bill to authorize retail and online wagering in the Sunflower State.
The proposal, SB 283, narrowly beat the buzzer and is perceived as one of the more industry-friendly bills introduced in 2020.
Kansas would levy a 7.5% tax on operator retail revenue, a rate that increases to 10% for online sportsbooks. With four casinos in the state, Kansas could feature up to eight mobile products — two for each property.
In addition, the bill would allow for regulated betting at the MLS stadium and NASCAR track located in the state.
Still, despite positive movement for the bill, the coronavirus pandemic caused an abrupt end to the legislature, which adjourned less than a week after discussing the proposal March 13.
Work remains for lawmakers to come to an agreement on the proposal, as reports suggest Gov. Laura Kelly would not sign the bill as passed by the Senate.
For now, no. All gambling in Kansas is restricted to land-based casinos and racetracks. However, within the last year lawmakers have pursued legislation that would legalize online gaming that would resemble slot machines.
As it stands, unsanctioned gambling stands as a Class B nonperson misdemeanor in Kansas, resulting in a sentence of up to six months in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000. Operating an illegal commercial gambling establishment could lead to a sentence of up to 23 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $100,000.
With that said, Chumba Casino’s sweepstakes model is still fine for Kansas residents. So, that’s probably the best option for folks in the Sunflower State.
What are the chances that we get full-fledged Kansas online casinos?
It’s difficult to say. Legislators introduced a bill in early 2020 to legalize online sports betting, which could pass by 2021. That might open the door for future online casinos.
I heard that New Jersey has legal online casinos. Can I play at those from Kansas?
No. New Jersey casino websites leverage geolocation technology that essentially builds a virtual fence around the state.
As a result, nobody outside the Garden State, even just outside the border, can access those New Jersey platforms.
I see casinos accepting Kansas players when I Google the topic. Should I trust them?
No. For the most part, these sites operate in a “gray market” that is not necessarily trustworthy.
Add in the fact that such gaming is criminalized in Kansas, and the list of reasons to avoid these sites intensifies.
Kansas Online Sports Betting FAQ
I thought the Supreme Court made sports betting legal. So why can’t I bet on sports in Kansas yet?
Simplified, when the US Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, it simply dismissed the federal ban on sports betting.
What it did was create an opening for state-sanctioned wagering. So while the decision allowed for legalization, it remains up to individual states to do so.
When will Kansas legalize sports betting?
Kansas has drafted several proposals to legalize sports betting, which are working their way through the Senate and the House and could get enacted by 2021.
Should I just bet with one of these online sportsbooks I see all of the time?
No. Aside from Kansas’ laws criminalizing online gambling, those products operate offshore and outside the reach of federal law.
Can I play fantasy sports for real money in Kansas?
Yes. In 2015, in defining “bet,” Kansas legislators excluded fantasy sports leagues so long as leagues meet certain criteria.
A “fantasy sports league” refers to any fantasy or simulation sports game or contest in which no fantasy or simulation team is based on the current membership of a current and actual team in an amateur or pro sports organization.
Additionally, all outcomes must reflect “the relative knowledge and skill” of participants and are determined by the statistical performances of individual athletes in real-world sporting events.
What gambling is legal in Kansas?
As indicated, Kansas features a lottery that allows retailers to sell scratch-off and lotto tickets to the public.
Partnered with the Kansas Lottery are four land-based casinos, while another five tribal properties operate in the state. Offerings at these brick-and-mortars resemble what can be found in Las Vegas, as guests can find slots, video poker, craps and roulette as well as table games such as live poker and blackjack.
Horse and dog racing are legal in the Sunflower State, though venues that once boasted such hobbies are no longer in operation. The same goes for off-track wagering.
Additionally, in 2015, Kansas legalized daily fantasy sports. More sports gaming appears on the way, as lawmakers are currently working on legislation to legalize retail and online sports betting as well as online casinos.
Kansas Online Gambling Directory
Kansas Online Casinos
As it stands, Kansas law does not permit online casino gambling within state lines.
As a result, any casino-related gaming can only take place at any of the four state-run casinos or five tribal-operated properties.
Lawmakers in the state have argued that online gambling falls under the umbrella of land-based regulations. However, the state constitution does not mention that vertical as attempts to legalize online casinos have been rebuffed.
Kansas Online Poker Sites
While Kansas does not allow pay-to-play online poker, Global Poker, a sweepstakes-style game, remains an option.
Global Poker operates with two currency systems: Gold Coins and $weeps Cash.
Players can use either currency to take part in any events or tournaments. Though only $weeps Cash can be redeemed for real cash.
This model is the only way in which Global Poker can operate, but it does offer satisfying games for those die-hard poker players.
Kansas Online Lottery
There is no online lottery available in Kansas. State law prohibits the sale of tickets over the internet.
That said, the Kansas Lottery has partnered with hundreds of retailers across the state, creating ample opportunities for the public to participate in the lotto.
Kansas Fantasy Sports Sites
In 2015, Kansas expressly legalized daily fantasy sports, excluding the activity from the definition of a “bet” so long as these leagues meet certain criteria.
“Fantasy sports league” is defined as any fantasy or simulation game or contest in which no fantasy or simulated sports team is “based on the current membership of an actual team that is a member of an amateur or professional sports organization.”
Four major DFS sites allow Kansas players:
Kansas Online Horse Betting
Kansas has legalized pari-mutuel wagering online and in person, though all of the state’s tracks have been shuttered since 2008.
All three are subject to state laws and regulations and are overseen by the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.
Translation: All three are trustworthy and reliable.
Kansas Online Sports Betting
For now, Kansas does not allow online sports betting.
However, lawmakers are crafting legislation to change that.
Two bills are in the works. Out of the Senate, the four state-owned casinos would receive exclusivity on regulated sports betting unless no more than one elects to offer the product. The bill also green-lights online lottery ticket sales so long as the games do not resemble slot machines.
The second bill, from the House, provides the Kansas Lottery authorization to operate sports betting via an interactive platform as well as authorize up to 1,200 retailers to accept wagers. Racetracks could also contract with the lottery.
There are nine casinos currently operational in Kansas: four partnered with the Kansas Lottery and five on tribal lands.
Kansas’ first casino came courtesy of the Prairie Band Potawatomi, as the Golden Eagle Casino began operations in May 1996 in a temporary location. The permanent property opened two years later. Also in 1998, Casino White Cloud entered the fold, a year after the Sac and Fox Casino opened for business.
Boot Hill Casino broke the mold as the first state-owned casino to make its debut, opening its doors in December 2009.