Kansas Casinos, Gambling, and Law Regulations: An Overview

Gambling has a deep-rooted history in Kansas, originating from the iconic Dodge City saloons and evolving through turbulent eras of prohibitions until it became legal and regulated. Changes in legislation that started in the late 1980s have transformed the Sunflower State into a thriving center for gambling.

Gambling in Kansas is regulated under Article 15 of the Kansas State Constitution that clearly states that ‘lotteries and the sale of lottery tickets are forever prohibited unless allowed under Sections 3a, 3b and 3c of the Constitution’. These exceptions enable legal forms of gambling such as state-owned lotteries and casinos, bingo halls, horse and dog racing, charitable raffles, racinos, and even types of online gambling.

In this article, we are going to tell you more about the gambling laws and regulations in Kansas, and where you can enjoy different forms of gambling when visiting.

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Gambling Laws in Kansas — The Law Overview

The broader score of gambling in Kansas is seen through the eyes of the Kansas State Constitution and Kansas Statutes. In 1986, Amended Section 15 of the Constitution allowed the state to regulate, license, and impose taxes on horse and dog racing, as well as pari-mutuel wagering.

The following year, the legislation brought the first in the series of laws aimed at further regulating gambling, known as the Kansas Parimutuel Racing Act. Under this act, pari-mutuel wagering was allowed only on licensed race tracks throughout Kansas. The licensing and regulating part was in charge of the Kansas Racing Commission, created by the Kansas Parimutuel Racing Act. Under this act, race tracks were imposed by taxes no less than 3%, and no more than 6% of the total money wagered each day at a racetrack facility.

It wasn’t after 2007 that further amendments and gambling-related laws were enacted. Until then, all proposed changes were dismissed, and these changes were put up for a vote every year.

In 2007, the Kansas Legislature first saw the proposed Kansas Expanded Lottery Act that allowed state-owned and operated ‘destination casino resorts’ to be built in four gaming zones within Kansas: northeast, southeast, south-central and southwest zone. These gaming zones could house casino resorts with table games, as well as slots, lottery draws, and video poker games through a contract with the Kansas Lottery. Also, pari-mutuel racing tracks were allowed to have slot machines and become what we now know as ‘racinos’.

Kansas is also home to Tribal Casinos, and tribal gaming is regulated by the 1995 Tribal Gaming Oversight Act. This act established the State Gaming Agency as a subdivision of the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission in charge of upholding the tribal-state compacts and ‘integrity of Indian gaming operations in Kansas’. The State Agency is funded by each of the Tribes operating a casino in Kansas.

Gambling and Illegal Gambling in Kansas Law Statutes

Gambling is further specified under the Kansas Law Statutes, especially the illegal forms of gambling. All transgressions against the public morals when a person is involved in illicit gambling are described in K.S.A. 21-6404 – K.S.A. 21-6405. Here, you can also find crimes against the Kansas Expanded Lottery Act and Pari-mutuel Racing Act.

The act of illegal gambling is defined 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’.

Under the Kansas Statutes, an illegal bet is defined 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.” The illegal bet does not include the legalized forms of betting and gambling described in the Statutes and the Kansas State Constitution.

The illegal gambling is a class B nonperson misdemeanour, while setting up a criminal gambling enterprise is characterized as a severity level 8 nonperson felony.

What Forms of Gambling Are Allowed?

Under the Kansas State Constitution and  Kansas Expanded Lottery Act, we can see a lot of sanctioned types of gambling. Charitable organizations, non-profit religious groups, fraternal, educational, and veterans organizations are allowed to host bingo, and instant bingo draws, as well as charitable raffles.

Pari-mutuel wagering on horse and dog racing is also allowed on licensed racetracks. These racetracks can also operate slot machines and video poker games, usually reserved for state-owned casinos. At the moment, there are no race tracks of that kind in Kansas, but the Woodlands and Camptown Greyhound Parks might still reach deals with the Kansas Lottery and restart their businesses.

Operating lotteries and casinos is the prerogative of the state-owned Kansas Lottery that manages several casino resorts all across Kansas. There, players can enjoy table games like roulette, blackjack, craps, poker, and many others. Apart from hundreds of slots, players can also play video poker games.

In the Kansas territory, there are tribal lands where tribes operate tribal casinos based on the 1995 Tribal Gaming Oversight Act. There, you can find slots, roulette, blackjack, poker, and other table games.

To a great extent, online gambling seems to be left out of the gambling laws. The only legal form of online gambling mentioned in the Statutes is betting on daily fantasy sports, making Kansas only the second state to do so, after Maryland. However, there is not clear mentioning of online casinos and betting sites being either legal or illegal.

Of course, one could argue that computers, tablets, and phones used in online gambling can be considered devices labelled under illegal gambling contraptions not sanctioned by the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.

As stated in section 21-6403 of the Kansas Statutes, “illegal gambling device means any other machine, mechanical device, electronic device or other contrivance including, but not limited to, roulette wheels and similar devices, which are equipped with or designed to accommodate the addition of a mechanism that enables accumulated credits to be removed is equipped with or designed to accommodate a mechanism to record the number of credits removed or is otherwise designed, manufactured or altered primarily for use in connection with gambling.”

However, this is just one possible scenario or interpretation. The final saying, of course, goes to judges and lawyers.

The bottom line is, although online gambling is not legal in Kansas per se, now laws or regulations prohibit players from accessing offshore online casinos and betting sites. Moreover, no one has ever been persecuted in Kansas for playing in offshore casinos.

Where to Gamble in Kansas?

Kansas has some interesting casino resort destinations you should visit for some top-notch casino experience. The following casinos are legal and licensed by the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.

Boot Hill Casino and Resort

Boot Hill Casino and Resort is located in the world-famous Dodge City, Kansas, and is the first state-owned casino and resort. It is a 24-hour open entertainment center with close to 700 slot machines and 21 table games that include games such as Chase the Flush, Blackjack, Craps, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Mississippi Stud, 21+3, 3-Card Poker and Roulette.

The opening hours of table games, craps, and poker tables vary depending on the day. Apart from casino games, visitors can enjoy an excellent dining experience from Firesides restaurant or grab a quick bite from the homemade meals at Cowboys’ Cafe. Boot Hill Casino and Resort is welcoming visitors daily at 4000 W Comanche St, Dodge City, KS 67801.

Hollywood Casino

Hollywood Casino in Kansas City is a premier venue with over 2,000 top-class slots and dozens of table games, including poker, craps, blackjack, roulette, and many others, operating 24/7. Apart from a large casino floor, Hollywood Casino is home to the Kansas Speedway, a world-class raceway that hosts annual national NASCAR events.

To catch a breath from gaming, you can enjoy delicious food at five different restaurants and buffets of Hollywood Casino. Moreover, the casino cooperates with the best hotels in Kansas City and even offers substantial discounts for their visitors. You can locate Hollywood Casino at 777 Hollywood Casino Blvd, Kansas City, KS 66111.

Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel

Kansas Crossing Casino is located on 1275 S, US-69, Pittsburg, KS 66762, and is one of the rare casino resorts in Kansas that offers not only premier casino gaming but luxurious stays at their Hampton Inn with 123 rooms. Their casino floor features hundreds of exciting slot machines and 16 live-paced and action-packed table games such as Craps, Roulette, Blackjack, Poker, and many others. To get a respite from gaming and recharge your batteries, you can visit the Two Brothers Mining Company restaurant for fine dining or The Bronco Bar for quick drinks or late nightcaps.


Are casinos legal in Kansas?

Casinos are entirely legal in Kansas and are operated by the state-owned Kansas Lottery. Also, there are eight licensed and legal Tribal Casinos as well.

Is online poker legal in Kansas?

Online gambling is not explicitly deemed legal in Kansas, but accessing offshore poker sites is not against the law.

What games can you gamble on in Kansas?

In Kansas, you can gamble on video slots, table games such as roulette, blackjack, and poker, as well as wager on horse and dog racing.

 What is the legal age for playing at casinos in Kansas?

The legal age for entering casinos in Kansas is 21.

Are daily fantasy sports sites legal in Kansas?

Yes. Daily fantasy sports sites are entirely legal in Kansas as of 2015.