Kansas is a relatively gaming-friendly state with a rather healthy land-based casino industry and several online betting forms. The state has so far taken up different bills to legalize mobile and in-person casino gaming since 2018.
At this point, legal sports betting, among other forms of casino activities, will most likely become a reality soon. Below is an overview of the state of online gaming legislation in Kansas.
State of Sports Betting
In Kansas, lawmakers have made several attempts to legalize online sports betting even before the Professional, and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) prohibition was struck down.
In February 2018, legislators introduced the HB 2752 Bill to legalize online and retail sports betting. The bill would have approved the Kansas lottery to conduct betting on sports through any state’s land-based casinos, mobile apps, and online casinos.
The state would have allowed online casinos to operate in the market legally should HB 2752 be passed into law. Another bill, SB 455, was later introduced in 2019. The bill proposed similar regulations. However, it proposed that operators should be charged lower fees.
Although the Supreme Court overturned PASPA in May 2018, Kansas could not legalize sports betting the same year. Check out online-gambling.com for a comprehensive guide to online gambling in Kansas.
Greyhound and Horse Racing Betting
Pari-mutuel betting is legal in the state, both in-person and online. However, the state’s racetracks have not been in operation since 2008 since they were closed due to decreasing revenue. This leaves betting online as the only betting.
You place wagers in any of the accepted betting sites. The sites are licensed and regulated so that you can trust them with your money. They are all safe, and no matter the one you choose, you won’t go wrong with any of the websites. The betting sites are also legal under Kansas law.
Online Casino Gaming
No law in Kansas specifically talks about online poker. However, it’s not a must it mention since any unsanctioned gambling is illegal in Kansas. It is considered a misdemeanor crime to participate in this form of gaming.
Since the state doesn’t seem to talk much about online poker, people here engage in online poker betting. Most of them join offshore casinos. Residents also wager on other casino games like slots, bingo, baccarat, roulette, and many others.
Partly, online gambling is somewhat unregulated in Kansas, leaving room for individuals wishing to enjoy online gaming to do so. Although the law does indeed mention it is illegal to partake in some online casino games, it doesn’t give much attention.
With this, you can play at offshore casinos without worrying much about the state catching up with you. Luckily, several legal and safe casinos accept players from Kansas. You can check out several casinos before deciding on one of them.
Current State of Gambling in Kansas
Kansas is closer than ever to approve sports betting. The Senate has already approved the SB 283 bill to authorize brick-and-mortar, mobile, and online casino betting if approved by the Governor. The senate also approved HB 2671 in 2020.
If signed into law, the bill will allow the Kansas lottery to run online sports betting platforms and accept bets through authorized lottery retailers. Racetracks and casinos would be permitted to offer sports wagering activities in cooperation with the state’s lottery.
Online sports betting is yet to become legal in Kansas. It was expected that by the close of 2020, it would have been legalized. This didn’t happen since the legislature couldn’t send the bill to Governor Laura Kelly before the legislative session ended.
Tax Rate Disagreements
Tax rates and integrity fees are currently the main contention issues between the Senate and the House Versions. The Senate proposed 8% on online wagering and 5.5% tax rates on retail betting, while the House called for 20% on mobile betting and 14% for land-based sportsbooks.
Most casino operators broadly support the senate version since it has friendlier rates. Besides, the House bill requires operators seeking to offer in-play betting to only rely on official league information.
The challenge is that although the Senate passed the bill, it can’t be implemented until the House approves it. Unfortunately, no progress has been so far since the House wants to pass their bill, which, as mentioned, has a different vision.
Kansas Daily Fantasy Sports
In 2015, a law exempting daily fantasy sports (DFS) from the definition of gambling was passed. This made fantasy sports legal in Kansas and up to date; you can enjoy these sports within the state.
Previously, it was unclear whether real money daily fantasy sports were legal. This was partly due to a situation where the Kansas Gaming and Racing Commission published a contradictory question on its frequently asked questions page regarding fantasy sports.
The commissions seemed to indicate the sports were illegal. The information caused a stir as residents thought the authorities were cracking down on daily fantasy sports betting. In its defense, the commission argued DFS has never been legal in the state.
The Kansas Attorney General clarified the issue in 2015 by stating that fantasy sports are games of skill and are thus not illegal. The legislature passed HB 2155 to legalize DFS formally. The bill was signed into law in May 2015, but it came into effect on July 1st, 2015.
Will online gambling be legalized soon?
Kansas has progressive online gaming laws and offers visitors and residents a broad range of betting options. Specifically, the state allows mobile betting, greyhound and horse racing wagering, lotteries, and mobile betting, to mention a few.
Areas, where the state seems to be still restrictive include long daily fantasy sports, private gaming, and charity gambling. The House and the Senate’s contradictory provisions further make it harder for the state to allow online casino gambling officially.
Probably, if the two can reach an agreement, then we can expect the pending bills to take effect sooner or later. Besides, given the state’s positive attitude towards gaming activities that generate revenue, it won’t surprise if it legalizes online gaming.