Kansas Poker & Online Gambling Laws

Online Poker KansasGambling has been a common affair in Kansas since the 1800s. It hasn’t always been legal to gamble in Kansas, but according to the history the residents of Kansas gambled either way. Illegal gambling was so rampant in the mid-1800s that Kansas officially made it illegal to same up any table or gambling device for a game of chance in 1868.

Over the years Kansas has gone back and forth making some gambling legal and then making it illegal again. They currently have some forms of legal gambling, and they have had the same laws pertaining to these legal forms of gambling for many years.

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. There has been no specific law addressing online poker play in Kansas. Kansas does have laws related to gambling in general. Some people could interpret these laws to pertain to online games as well as land based games, but it could be interpreted either way.

We will leave the laws up to the state. We can’t tell you whether or not it is legal to play online poker in Kansas. We are not lawyers, but we can review some of the laws for you. If you have any concerns about the legality of playing online poker in Kansas please consult a lawyer to interpret the laws for you.

An overview of gambling laws in Kansas that may pertain to online poker can be seen below:

  • Kansas defines a bet as “Bet means a bargain in which the parties agree that, dependent upon chance, one stands to win or lose something of value specified in the agreement.” [1] A bet does not include: any legalized forms of gambling in Kansas such as the bingo, the lottery, tribal gaming, and various other forms of legal gaming in Kansas
  • Kansas defines gambling as “making a bet or entering or remaining in a gambling place with intent to make a bet, to participate in a lottery, or to play a gambling device.”
  • Unlawful gambling in Kansas is a class B nonperson misdemeanor. [2]
  • Home poker games are not legal in Kansas.
  • Charity poker runs are illegal in Kansas.

Kansas has some of the strictest laws available when it comes to poker outside of their regulated facilities. There are very few states that make home poker games and charity poker games illegal, but Kansas has done just that.

Even though Kansas has some very strict laws and view on gambling, Kansans do have legal options when it comes to gambling within the state. Kansas has a state lottery, pari-mutuel betting on horse races and dog races, Indian Casinos, and charitable bingo.

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 have bingo halls according to this amendment 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. A variety of games are offered at these casinos including table games. The majority of the casinos are open 24 hours a day. [3]

Legalized Gambling Options in Kansas

Some of the strict laws that Kansas has pertaining to gambling would lead some people to believe that there is virtually no gambling in Kansas, but the truth is that Kansas actually offers several venues to legally gamble. Kansas has a state lottery, betting on horse and dog races, casinos, and bingo. If you are in the Kansas area, you should have no problems finding an avenue to get your gambling fix.

Will Kansas Legalize Online Poker in the Future?

Kansas has not addressed the online gambling issue at this point. The fact that Kansas allows betting on simulcast races might bode well for residents of Kansas that would like to see online poker legalized. Kansas is a state that no one has ventured to voice an opinion on about the possibilities of them opting in or out of any federal legislation to legalize online poker. I guess we will just have to wait and see when the time comes.


  1. Jump up ^ Kansas Statue Section 21-4302
  2. Jump up ^ Kansas Statute Section 21-4303
  3. Jump up ^ Kansas Gambling History