Kansas poker and online gambling laws have been in place since 1868, when a general gambling ban was enacted in order to prevent citizens becoming lazy, stealing from their employers to support their habits and leaving their families destitute .
There is no way of telling how effective the general ban was in making citizens harder-working, more honest and financially responsible, but the prohibition of gambling in Kansas simply drove it underground and into the arms of the mob .
Other than some limited gambling opportunities at public events, Kansas poker and online gambling laws remained untouched for more than one hundred years. More recently, there has been some movement towards a relaxing of the laws – but not a lot.
Can Players From Kansas Play Poker Online?
Yes! Players from Kansas will have no problems finding a site that accepts players from their state. In fact every US facing poker website accepts players from Kansas. This may change in the future, but for now Kansans have several options when it comes to playing poker online for real money.
Is it Legal to Play Online Poker in Kansas?
Kansas falls into the same category as most states when it comes to the legality of playing poker online – nobody is really sure. In 1996, the then Attorney General – Carla Stovall – published an opinion that :
Placing, receiving or forwarding a bet and participating or conducting a lottery on the Internet violates Kansas´ criminal gambling statutes
However, Kansas´ criminal gambling statutes define a bet as
a bargain in which the parties agree that, dependent upon chance, one stands to win or lose something of value specified in the agreement. 
As there is plenty of case law supporting the argument that poker is a game of skill, it is unlikely you would be found guilty of breaking any laws by playing online poker in Kansas.
It is also worth mentioning that – in 2013 – a bill that would specifically make online poker illegal was defeated. Nonetheless, if you have any concerns about the legality of playing online poker in Kansas please consult a lawyer to interpret the laws for you.
Kansas Gambling History
In the 1800s you could gamble in almost any saloon in Kansas. This was up until 1868 when lawmakers started cracking down on the illegal gambling activities. There were too many fights breaking out so the officials decided something had to be done. Kansas passed a law in 1868 making it illegal to set up any table or gambling device for a game of chance.
- In 1895, lawmakers decided that it would be okay if fairs offered gambling. So, the only place you could gamble at in Kansas was at the fair. This also got out of hand, and Kansas decided to ban all slot machines in 1903.
- Voters approved an amendment in 1974 to regulate, tax, and license charitable bingo halls by nonprofit organizations. The only groups that can receive a license to operate bingo halls are nonprofit religious, charitable, fraternal, educational, or veteran organizations.
- In 1986, the voters of Kansas voted almost 2 to 1 to legalize a state lottery. The lottery in Kansas has to be reviewed and reapproved every few years, but that has not been a problem. The lottery has received overwhelming support from the citizens in Kansas.
- The same year that the lottery was voted in by Kansas residents, they also voted on and narrowly approved pari-mutuel wagering at dog races and horse races. The Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission oversee the facilities and issues licenses to qualifying applicants.
- This law was amended in 1992 to add simulcast racing of both interstate and intrastate racing. This enabled the people to bet on races that were being held at other areas. The races were broadcast live so that the outcome was instantly available.
- The mid-1990s brought about Tribal Casinos in Kansas. The 4 tribes in Kansas all entered into compacts with the state of Kansas to open Class III casinos. The first of these casinos opened in 1996 by the Kickapoo Tribe. By 1998, all four tribes had casinos.
- During the 2015 legislative session, lawmakers passed legislation to decriminalize and regulate raffles for certain non-profit organizations. This followed a resolution in the 2014 ballot that was passed 75%-25%.
Recent Developments in Kansas Online Gambling Legislation
There has only really been one recent development relating to online gambling legislation in Kansas – the decriminalization of Daily Fantasy Sports in 2015. This followed an interpretation of the law by the Kansas Gaming and Racing Commission that betting on Daily Fantasy Sports was illegal, and an opinion from the then Attorney General stating it wasn´t on the basis that DFS is a game of skill .
The legislature subsequently created a carve-out for DFS in HB2155  – which didn´t change anything for Kansas´ DFS players, who had been playing online Daily Fantasy Sports for more than five years. The bill also did nothing to clarify the situation regarding online poker which – as a game of skill – remains neither legal nor illegal in the state of Kansas.
Will Kansas Regulate Online Poker in the Future?
Considering that before 2015 it was illegal for a church in Kansas to have a fund-raising raffle, the likelihood the state will regulate online poker in the near future is remote. It is also worth considering that, with a population of less than 3 million, the state of Kansas is hardly a commercially-interesting target for regulated online poker sites.
Online poker might get regulated one day, but it will likely take a back seat until the state´s legislators decide what to do about the repeal of PASPA and the opportunity to legalize sports betting. It is possible online poker might get tagged onto a sports betting bill, but – bearing in mind the history of gambling prohibition in Kansas – there is no guarantee the state will embrace regulated sports betting anyway!