Kansas Legal Poker Sites

Kansas StateKansas was almost added to the list of States where gambling on the internet is expressly illegal, along with Utah, Washington and Florida. Fortunately, the bill to criminalize internet poker was defeated in a Senate vote in 2012. Live poker is available at both State licensed and tribal casinos in this State – though home games are not carved out under the Statutes here.

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This article gives you a comprehensive overview of the different types of poker games in the State of Kansas. This begins with live poker card rooms which are covered below. Next you will find information on the various social poker formats like bar leagues, charity poker and home games. Next up online poker, which survived its own prohibition attempt here in 2012. Towards the bottom of this page, things get more detailed, with a look at the important parts of the KS Statutes which apply to poker – followed by a wrap up of the big picture for residents of this State.

Live Poker Games In Kansas

There are only 7 poker rooms in Kansas, all at major casinos, however these make up for their small number by offering a quality experience. There are some big names like Ameristar and Harrah’s located in this State, alongside several smaller rooms at the local tribal casinos. Daily tournaments run at many of these rooms, along with occasional tours and special tournament events. Cash games are the staple, with small and mid-stakes games running around the clock in different poker formats. There are also plenty more casinos with poker rooms to choose from in neighboring States, with both Missouri and Oklahoma having a wide choice of venues.

Are Home Games Legal In Kansas?

Home games are tolerated by the law enforcement agencies in Kansas as long as they are real social games where nobody is making a profit from running the game and the stakes are low. These games are strictly speaking illegal as there is no specific carve-out under Kansas law for them.

Bar poker leagues are popular here, and are allowed as long as there is no buy-in requirement. Real prizes are offered, with the bars benefiting from the extra food and drink they sell on poker night. Unfortunately for charitable organizations, fund-raising poker tournaments are not permitted in this State.

Online Poker Games In Kansas

Online poker was the subject of a legal opinion by the Kansas attorney general back in 2009. He concluded that this form of poker was illegal under the existing laws. It should be noted that this is only an opinion, and it has never been legally tested. A bill to make internet gambling (including poker) explicitly illegal was defeated by a vote in the Kansas Senate in 2012. There are no current moves to regulate or legalize online poker. Should regulated poker become a reliable source of revenue in several other States, there is no reason to believe that KS would not adopt this at some point in the future.

Kansas residents are welcomed by the many offshore poker sites who are still allowing US players. These sites are run from Caribbean islands, where poker games are completely legal. While tens of thousands of US players enjoy the games at these sites every week, it is down to the individual to assess the risk of breaking the law in their own States. There are currently no cases of Kansas residents being arrested for playing online poker at offshore sites.

What Do The Kansas Gambling Statutes Say?

This is one of several States who focus on the making of a bet as the illegal gambling act. Since poker involves quite a lot of betting, and quite a bit of chance (at least in the short-term) it would be difficult to try the ‘poker as a skill game’ argument in this State. Like in many other States, the way that the laws here are set up is to make every form of gambling illegal – then carve out individual games and activities under specific circumstances.

Here is the key passage from the Kansas Statute books, this is from Chapter 21, Section 4302 and describes what is meant by a ‘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…

Kansas Poker – Summing It Up

With several good sized casino poker rooms to choose from in Kansas and a lot more in neighboring States – residents here are well looked after when it comes to enjoying live poker games. Home games are tolerated (as long as they are genuine small stakes social games) though are not legal – which leaves the only other live poker format as free-to-enter bar leagues.

Online poker is considered illegal under the current Kansas laws. This does not stop many residents from enjoying the games at offshore poker sites – who welcome players from this State. There is no indication that KS will be an early adopter of regulated internet gambling, however there is nothing to suggest that this State would not join in future if such a rollout is deemed a success.