Kansas Sports Betting Laws

Kansas Gambling LawsOverall, Gambling in Kansas offers gambling-friendly laws. In many ways, gambling in Kansas mirrors general attitudes across the U.S. towards gaming over the past few decades.

In the mid-1800s during pioneering days, gambling was accepted. The state banned gambling in 1868, and gambling laws grew throughout the early 20th century.

Since then, Kansas has slowly legalized many forms of gambling. You can now enjoy many forms of land-based gaming in Kansas.

See the below table below for the current environment on online gambling, sports betting laws, etc.

Gambling Type Legal Land-Based Legal Online
Sports Betting No No
Casinos Yes No
Fantasy Sports (DFS) N/A Yes
eSports No No
Poker Yes No
Horse-Racing Yes Yes
Lottery Yes No
Charitable-Gambling Yes No

Kansas Gambling Tax Rate

Kansas has a 5% state tax on gambling winnings.

Federal taxes may apply on larger wins.

Kansas Gambling Age

Gambling Type Age
DFS 18
Casinos 21
Horse-Racing 21
Lottery 18
Charitable-Gambling 18

Kansas Sports Betting Laws

Sports betting taxes appear to be the stumbling block and bone-of-contention for Kansas lawmakers in the sports betting legalization process. Until that has been overcome, the answers to the questions; ‘is sports betting legal in Kansas?’ and ‘is online sports betting legal in Kansas’ are both ‘No’.

In early 2018, Kansas entered the sports betting legalization debate when lawmakers introduced a bill (House Bill 2752) seeking to legalize sports betting in state-owned and online casinos if the federal ban on sports betting was repealed or stricken down.

House Bill 2752 has caused some consternation as local casino interests opposed the provision in the bill calling for an “integrity fee” of 1% of total betting-handle to be paid to the professional sports leagues. The fee is thought to be excessive and may threaten the state’s casino’s ability to compete with off-shore sportsbooks.

Given that HB 2752 was still a work in progress, Kansas State Legislators introduced a second ‘compromise’ bill in March 2018. Senate Bill 455 scaled back the sports integrity fee from 1% of total betting handle to 0.25% of the betting handle.

The newer of the two bills goes some way to alleviating the concerns of the casino industry and it seems like it will be only a matter of time until the Kansas State Legislature passes a law that will be acceptable to all interested parties, including the state’s sports bettors.

Online Sports Betting in Kansas

In Kansas, Online Sports Betting is currently prohibited.

However, given that both bills currently before the Kansas State Legislature (House Bill 2752 and Senate Bill 455) in looking to legalize sports betting have legal sports betting online written into their provisions, it appears online sports betting will be a fait accompli once the bills pass.

Until the state legislators agree on the state taxes on sports betting, meanwhile, Kansas online sports bettors can legally wager online in DFS competitions and on horse and greyhound racing in Kansas.

Casinos in Kansas

Kansas has a unique system where the state lottery owns and operates Vegas-style commercial casinos. In 2007, State Legislation (SB 66) was passed allowing 4 casinos to be built and operated by private companies in so long as the state lottery retained 100% ownership. Revenue is split with 27% going to the State and the remainder to the builder-operator licensee.

Combine those commercial casinos with a healthy network of Tribal Casinos, and its apparent that Kansas has a wide range of options for the state’s land-based casino gambling aficionados.

Kansas Land-based Casinos

In total, Kansas has 11 land-based casinos (both commercial and tribal) across the state, offering almost 11 500 slots and gaming machines, and more than 160 table games in total.

With the colorful and adventurous 19th-century history of Kansas’ saloons in Dodge City and the associated vices on offer there in the 1880’s, and the rich and varied Native American gambling games dating back centuries, it’s clear that the current casino culture in Kansas is following in the state’s storied gambling heritage.

Online Casinos in Kansas

Kansas Gambling Law statutes do not specifically mention online casino laws, however, the encompassing guideline and implicit understanding is that it doesn’t need to.  In Kansas, any form of unsanctioned and unregulated (as gambling online is in Kansas) gambling is considered to be illegal. It is a misdemeanor offense to participate as an online casino player with a punishment of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1000.

We recommend that online players in the state of Kansas should refrain from playing both off-shore and U.S. based online casinos until the practice is legalized.

Players wishing to gamble online in Kansas for the time being, have the possibility for legal online greyhound and horse racing betting and to play in real money DFS competitions.

Horse Racing Betting in Kansas

At the present time, all licenses for horse and greyhound racing in Kansas previously issued by the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission have lapsed and/or have been revoked.  No horse or greyhound racing has been conducted in Kansas since August 2008.

Kansas residents and visitors have legal horse racing betting options through online horse racing betting sites.

Track Side: Kansas two operating racetracks closed down in 2008 and there have been few moves to reinvigorate the tracks.

Off-Track Betting (OTB): The State of Kansas has no network of off-track betting locations.

Online Betting on Horse Racing in Kansas: All of Kansas’ online racebooks have small minimum initial deposit requirements and they all provide the online bettor with the convenience of mobile betting from your PC, smartphone, tablet or other mobile device. Kansas visitors or residents over the age of 21 all have full legal access to online horse betting sites that offer betting on all the big races across-the world and nationwide in the United States.Given Kansas’ lack of trackside betting options and OTB outlets, it’s fantastic to be able to bet on big events like the Triple Crown or the Kentucky Derby conveniently and legally online in the state of Kansas.

Kansas’ Daily Fantasy Sports Laws

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) competitions have been determined by Federal lawmakers to be skill-based competitions, not gambling on a game that is determined by random chance.

The Kansas State Government is in full agreement with the Federal ruling on DFS.

The DFS laws in Kansas were clarified in 2015 when the state’s Attorney-General issued an opinion agreeing that DFS competitions are games of skill. A short time later, the Kansas Legislature reaffirmed the opinion legalizing DFS in Kansas with the bill, HB 2155.

Since then, the DFS companies are free to legally accept players from the Sunflower State to participate in their real money competitions.

DFS – An explanation

Betting on DFS competitions bears no resemblance to betting on teams to win or lose.

The general concept of DFS betting is to draft a team of players from around the league of your choice. The NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, college basketball and college football are all offered and some DFS companies also offer PGA Golf competitions.  All active players in your chosen league are available for your team. What makes DFS challenging is each player has a virtual price tag and you have a virtual salary cap, it’s simply not impossible to draft a team comprised entirely of star players. You will need to pick and choose quite carefully to form a well-balanced team.

For example, imagine your virtual NFL salary cap is $100,000. If New England’s Tom Brady costs $25,000, you’ll need to give up strength in other key positions. Drafting Brady will take 25% of your salary cap and you will still have 8 more positions to fill.

Your NFL DFS team accumulates points as your draft picks accumulate stats in the real matches. Touchdown passes earn points for your quarterback, rushing yards for your running backs, sacks earn points for your defense etc. Your points total is calculated after all the games are finished. The person whose team earns the most points, wins the contest. The best DFS players are most usually superb ‘budget balancers’ generating the best value for money out of their chosen players.

DFS contest winners (daily/weekly/or season long) can possibly receive as much as $1 million or more for each competition during the regular season of each top sports league.

Poker Laws in Kansas

Tribal casinos and the state lottery-owned commercial casinos offer excellent options for legal live poker in Kansas. Social gambling for fun at home is allowed, however, home poker games played even for small stakes are not permitted in the state.

Online Poker Laws in Kansas

Kansas’ online players are unable to play Poker online in the Sunflower State, however, its not all bad news for the future. Please refer to the above section on ‘Online Sports Betting in Kansas’ outlining the sweeping acceptance of online gambling once sports betting is legalized in Kansas.

eSports Betting in Kansas

Once legal sports betting soon becomes a reality in Kansas, eSports betting will open up new betting markets to the state’s residents and visitors with a brash new style of sports betting, untouched by the previous unlegalized past.

What is the ‘eSports’ phenomenon?

In only a few short years, video game play at its highest professional level has become a betting phenomenon. Rather than being played as an individual sport, eSports are frequently played in a team-format in worldwide tournaments.

Much in the same way that football, baseball, basketball and hockey are different types of sports CS:GO, StarCraft, Legend of Legends and Overwatch, are the NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA sports of the eSports world.

An increasing number of international sportsbooks offering a betting markets across the major global eSports tournaments, as eSports betting grows quickly worldwide.

Expect eSports betting to be available soon at your favorite legalized Kansas sportsbook.

Benefits of Legal Gambling to Kansas

  • In any given year, Kansas’ state-owned casinos contribute between $700 million to $1 billion annual to the state’s economy.
  • Tribal Casinos offer a much-need revenue stream and form of job creation for Native Americans in Kansas.
  • In Kansas, almost 4500 people are employed directly in the gambling sector (with total combined incomes of almost $200 million) with many more employed in associated service industries (estimated to be as many as 1800 indirect jobs).
  • 30% of Kansas’ State Lottery proceeds go to good causes like; the Economic Development Initiatives Fund, Juvenile Detention Facilities Fund, Correctional Institutions Building Fund, and the Problem Gambling Grant Fund.
  • High-tech companies with Kansas-based locations are assisting in the development of online casino technology for other states (where online gambling is legal) providing jobs and payroll tax revenue for the state.

History of Gambling in Kansas

1880’s; According to the Wall Street Journal; ‘in the 1880’s, Dodge City, Kansas was the wickedest little city in America’. Casinos, brothels and saloons were plentiful in Dodge City and high-stakes poker games were common.

Late 1800’s; Gambling deemed illegal in Kansas.

1903; Slot machines become illegal in Kansas.

1974; Charitable Gaming legalized in Kansas, beginning with Bingo.

1987; Kansas State Lottery created.

1992; Simulcast horse and greyhound racing betting legalized in Kansas.

1996; First Tribal Casinos open in Kansas.

2007; Approval granted to allow the Kansas State Lottery to independently operate 4 Land-Based Casinos.

2015; DFS contests fully legalized in Kansas with State Governor, Sam Brrownback signing bill HB 2155 into law in the Sunflower State.

2017-2019; Ongoing legislative push to legalize sports betting in Kansas (both land-based-and-online) through the state-lottery-owned commercial casinos.

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