The story regarding casinos in Kansas is a bit tricky and probably not what most people would come to expect. For a state that is consistently on the conservative side of things and located within such close proximity to Bible Belt states, it would seem unfathomable that there are any legal gambling options for those living in Kansas. Much to the surprise of many, however, there are plenty of casino-style gambling options in the state.
Even though the casino atmosphere you will find in Kansas is nothing like that which you will find in places like Las Vegas, there are very few things you can do in Las Vegas that you cannot do in Kansas. What’s more, casinos are a somewhat new development for the state, so it will be interesting to see what the future holds for Kansas casinos.
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The Sunflower State has land-based gambling traditions that date back to 19th century, but the local real money gaming industry of today is a far cry from those good old days. All things considered, Kansas residents have access to several tribal casinos, charitable gambling, and pari-mutuel betting.
The state also runs its own lottery, but lotto tickets aren’t available for purchase over the internet. Kansas lawmakers haven’t passed any iGaming related regulations so far, so the only online gambling options available locally are the ones provided by offshore operators.
Shortly after it became a state, Kansas banned all gambling. The reason – law enforcement officers were tired of breaking up fights. This was right around the time Wyatt Earp moved to Kansas, so you’d think the local lawmen could handle it.
Fast forward to 2006 when the state did a complete 180 by authorizing four commercial casinos to be run by the Kansas Lottery Commission. Those casinos are:
Twenty years before the state got into the casino business, Kansas signed a compact with four federally recognized Native American tribes. Together, those four tribes run six casinos:
You must be 21 to gamble at any Kansas casino.
Online casinos are illegal in Kansas.
Land-based casinos’ name tells you just about everything you need to know. In Kansas, whether or not a casino is land-based is something that must be mentioned seeing as the Midwestern United States is known for its wide range of riverboat gambling options.
In Kansas, land-based casinos are able to offer players a full range of games culminating in what even the biggest critics can define as a complete casino experience. In addition to the thousands of slot games at the state’s land-based establishments, there are also hundreds of table games and live poker. In addition to all of this, most of these casinos also have bars, restaurants, hotels, and shopping options. Even though you may not find anything resembling the Las Vegas Strip in Kansas, the casinos that do exist are able to offer you the most complete casino experience possible.
The tribal casinos that exist in Kansas are almost identical to the land-based ones in every way. The only real difference between the two is that tribal casinos are located on tribal lands and owned/operated by Native American tribes. Though the establishment of Native American casinos came a bit later than expected, an agreement was reached and these sites were quickly built. Now, many of the tribal casinos in the state of Kansas have a history that stretches back nearly 20 years.
Sports betting is illegal in Kansas, but a discussion about legalizing it is expected to take place in early 2019. Overland Park State Rep. Jan Kessinger recently introduced a bill that would not only allow sports betting at the four state-run casinos but also at any bar in the state that offers keno through the Kansas Lottery.
“I think one of the keys to the success of sports betting in Kansas would be to make it accessible widespread.”
Kessinger adds that legislators will consider making sports betting available through a mobile app that would allow in-game wagering.
All of this will be discussed by lawmakers in 2019. In the meantime, sports betting in Kansas remains illegal.
Daily fantasy sports have been legal in Kansas since 2015. The bill signed by the governor to legalize DFS, which also included changes to charitable gaming laws and the Kansas Lottery, passed the House 98-21 and the Senate by a vote of 37-1.
The language in the bill that is of key importance for DFS advocates in other states is the definition of DFS, which declares that “all winning outcomes [in fantasy sport] reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the participants.”
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt added, “We believe that if fantasy sports leagues fall within the definition provided in 2015 Senate Substitute for HB 2155, then fantasy sports leagues are games of skill.”
As a result, because DFS are games of skill, they are legal.
Live horse racing is legal in Kansas. However, the 40% tax rate on racecourses as well as the opening of the four state-run casinos led to the closing of all Kansas tracks. The final racecourse to close its doors was Eureka Downs in 2011.
A bill meant to lower the tax rate to a manageable 22% was recently introduced and struck down in the state Senate. Billionaire Phil Ruffin, who owns three of the closed tracks, says that if the tax environment were to become more favorable, he would try to re-open them. Unfortunately, it’s hard to say when that might happen.
There is no off-track betting in Kansas, and all greyhound racetracks have been shut down.
Poker is limited to the four casinos listed above that feature operating poker rooms:
Kansas state law makes no exceptions for home poker games. The only legal private poker games are those that don’t involve money.
The Kansas Lottery has been around since 1987 and provides multiple ways to play. It offers scratch-offs and pull tabs, a game called Racetrax (virtual horse racing with new races every five minutes), as well as keno. The following draw games are also available:
Draw tickets are valid for 365 days from the date of the drawing. Scratch-off winnings must be claimed within 180 days.
You must be at least 18 to purchase a Kansas Lottery ticket.
Along with the bingo offerings at the two tribal casinos listed above, Kansas allows non-profit religious, charitable, fraternal, educational, and veterans organizations to obtain a license to host bingo games.
Both bingo game hosts and participants must be at least 18 years old.
Bingo can be found in more than 150 Kansas cities.
Participating in unlicensed gambling as a player is illegal in Kansas, but in most cases, individual gamblers are let off the hook with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. However, the relevant regulations don’t refer specifically to online games of chance, which is the reason why many experts argue that those general regulations can’t be applied to internet play.
This theory hasn’t ever been tested in a Kansas court, as the authorities simply aren’t interested in going after offshore sites’ customers. All things considered, Kansas-based gamblers don’t have all that many reasons to worry if they decide to pursue their hobby online.
The ability to make the right calls is what makes a gambler successful, so you should always try to choose the sites that give you the most bang for your buck. For example, if you’re looking for poker networks, you should focus exclusively on the ones that attract a lot of traffic, as they give you access to better ring games and tournaments.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a casino, you should pay close attention to the available bonuses and game selection. When it comes to sportsbooks, you might want to go for sites that excel in terms of prices, available markets and live in-play betting options.
How Do I Get Started?
Your first step should be to open a gambling account with the site that you’ve picked. When everything is properly set up, you should be ready to make the first deposit. Please note that most accounts have to be verified, which is absolutely necessary to protect the site from bonus-related scam attempts and to prevent underage gambling.
How Do I Get My Money if I Win?
The cash tied to your gambling account is available via the cashier menu, which is used to make additional deposits and request cash outs. Keep in mind that the available banking options are going to be very limited due to federal-level restrictions. Consequently, most sites have to handle withdrawals using somewhat inefficient methods, such as wire transfers and checks.
What is the minimum age to gamble online in Kansas?
The minimum age to play on iGaming sites is 18. It’s worth pointing out that the legal gambling age in cases is 21 for casino games.
How do I open an account?
All you need to do is submit a registration form. If you want to gamble for money, you’ll have to go through an additional identity check.
Where can I open my account from?
Kansas-facing sites allow their customers to register from anywhere in the US.
From where can I access Kansas online gambling sites?
Anywhere in the US should be fine, but you should remember that the local regulations may differ from Kansas laws when you travel. For example, online gambling is a punishable offense in Utah and Washington.
Where can I familiarize myself with the official regulations over gambling in Kansas?
Section 21 of Kansas Code.
How do I deposit to my online gambling account?
Most sites actually require you to make a deposit via a debit/credit card like Visa or MasterCard.
How do I withdraw my winnings?
The available cash out methods usually include check by courier and traditional wire transfer.
Is my money safe?
Your money is guaranteed to be safe with the sites listed here, but you should be careful when it comes to dealing with sites that haven’t been tested by our experts.
What body regulates gambling in Kansas?
Kansas has three regulatory bodies: Kansas Lottery, Kansas State Gaming Agency and Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.
The history of gambling in Kansas extends back to the early 19th century, and even further depending upon who you ask. Though the many Native American tribes that called Kansas home have long played games of chance, historians give more credit to the cattle drivers and cowboys that passed through the state for really introducing Kansas to casino-style gambling. Whether it was games of chance played by cattle drivers or other games played by Native Americans, gambling was a regular occurrence all throughout the state.
As Kansas became increasingly settled throughout the latter part of the 19th century and early parts of the 20th century, casino-style gambling became infrequent and difficult to find. Shortly after the turn of the 20th century slots were determined to be illegal along with other games of chance, and even betting at horse and dog tracks was soon outlawed.
It wasn’t until 1974 when gambling began to once again make an appearance in the state. In this year, Kansas lawmakers approved charitable and social gambling so long as they were kept to relatively low stakes and abided by all of the rules and regulations set forth. Only 4 years after that, gambling laws in Kansas were relaxed further to allow for betting on horse races at licensed tracks as well as a state lottery.
In 1995, 4 Native American leaders and Kansas lawmakers sat down and struck a deal that would allow for the aforementioned 4 tribes to begin building casino resorts on their own land. Within a few years, all 4 tribes had set up and opened their own casinos. The existence of tribal casinos in Kansas created a landslide of sorts, because quickly thereafter land-based casinos were granted licenses and ultimately were allowed to open their doors.
Nowadays, there are plenty of casinos to take advantage of. With that being said, it must be mentioned that most of Kansas’ casinos are located on the Eastern side of the state, in close proximity to Kansas City. There is one casino located near Wichita (Southern Kansas), but apart from this the rest of the state is missing out. Luckily, an overwhelming majority of Kansas citizens live in the Eastern and Northeastern parts of the state. We would like to think more casinos are going to be built, but with such a sparse population, that much does not seem entirely too likely.