In May 2015, then-Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill that legalized real-money daily fantasy sports gambling for Kansas bettors. That means games such as DraftKings and FanDuel are fair game for online gamblers in the state. While there remains plenty of opposition to restricting Kansas residents when it comes to online gambling, the DFS move is a positive sign for more freedom both on- and offline.
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Kansas was named after the Kanza people, also known as Kaw Nation, who happen to own and operate several casinos within the state. While Kansas is no Las Vegas, it offers residents and visitors some options through a variety of gambling niches in person - though none through the internet.
Gambling in Kansas is a well-regulated industry with numerous legal options, but there are also some restrictions. The latter includes a restriction on parimutuel betting on dogs and horse racing. That extends to all forms of online betting. Illegal gambling is a class B violation and could come with up to a $1,000 penalty or short-term jail sentence. However, the state permits regulated casinos, poker rooms, bingo, lotteries and prize competitions, which combine to give Kansas gamblers a surprisingly open gambling scene.
Kansas's gambling landscape has changed through the decades, and the law continues to be shaped in the modern era.
In Kansas it remains to be seen whether sports betting and online gambling will gain more freedom and regulation, or tighter restrictions. Currently, moves to legalize games such as daily fantasy sports look like a pro-gambling stance from the state authorities, but attempts to make online gambling legal swing things in the opposite direction.
Still, lawmakers have considered sports betting bills in 2019, and the Jayhawk State could very well take a bet before most of the rest of the country.
Kansas has a rich casino gaming industry that offers plenty of action on land. The 2007 Kansas Expanded Lottery Act permitted the construction of several state-run super casinos, including slot machines and horse race betting. Inclusive of American Indian tribal casinos, Kansas's casino lineup now features Boot Hill Casino & Resort in Dodge City; Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane; Hollywood Casino in Kansas City; Prairie Band Casino & Resort on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Indian Reservation, near Topeka; Sac & Fox Casino in Powhattan; Golden Eagle Casino on the Kickapoo Nation Reservation, near Horton; Casino White Cloud on the Iowa Tribe Reservation, near White Cloud; and Seventh Street Casino in Kansas City.
The state has made attempts to suggest that online gambling falls under the land-based rules, but nowhere in the constitution is online gambling mentioned. Attempts to make it officially illegal have also failed. Regardless, that means there are no online offerings available for Kansas players currently.
Poker can only be played in licensed casino venues in Kansas, and even home gaming is theoretically illegal. That extends to online poker options which like online casino gaming is unavailable in the Jayhawk State.
Unlike most other states, Kansas doesn't have any operating horse tracks or greyhound tracks. Betting on other sports remain equally barren, with no law permitting bets on sports like baseball, basketball or football on the books. That same bleak stance applies to online bets as well. There are no legal channels to place a sports bet in person or online in Kansas and state lawmakers have yet to pass a bill to do so.