Kansas Casinos and Gambling

Short Summary: Kansas is one of the more conservative states out there when it comes to its gambling laws, though they are less restrictive than a state such as Alabama.  They couldn’t even save their own racetracks when the time came to give them machine concessions that might have kept them in business, so you can take a guess how everything else in the state goes. 

Kansas is a fairly conservative state both in general and when it comes to gambling. The state does not presently have any operating racetracks, but racing and simulcast wagering are otherwise legal in the state, at present. The racetracks ended up closing despite begging for permission to run state Video Lottery Terminals so they could at least stay afloat. Further, the state also taxed the racetracks at 40 percent of their revenues, which is just a ridiculous tax unrivaled by any other racing tax in any other state. In 2018, the state discussed reducing that tax to a still ridiculous 22 percent.

Therefore, all of the racetracks closed several years ago, but in the meantime, Kansas went and authorized four casinos which now operate within the state. Apparently, full on casinos are not a problem, but letting the racetracks have VLT’s is, who the hell knows? I lived close enough to Kansas (Kansas City, MO) to know that not much about the place makes any sense.

In the meantime, the following forms of gambling are both legal and actually operational:

  • Lottery
  • Tribal Casinos
  • Commercial Casinos
  • Charitable Gaming

The ironic thing is that the State of Kansas fought tooth and nail to keep the tribal casinos from opening, but after they finally did, the state kind of said, “Ah, screw it,” and opened a few of their own. It didn’t happen EXACTLY like that, but for all practical purposes, that might as well be what happened.

Kansas operates a lottery through its state lottery commission that participates in multi-state games such as Powerball and Mega Millions. This has been the case for quite some time as even some of the more conservative states have no problem with a lottery, though there are a few exceptions, such as Utah.

Charitable Gaming may consist of raffles and bingo and the State of Kansas does not have a specific tax on either. They do have an annual fee schedule for operation, which is based on the NPO’s revenues from the previous year, but aside from that Kansas leaves the charities and the non-profits alone, so that’s cool.

Again, the full-on land casinos in Kansas, other than the Tribal ones, are a fairly new development.

The Legality Of Online Gambling In Kansas

In the State of Kansas, any form of gambling that is not specifically authorized by the state constitutes unlawful gambling and is considered a Class B nonperson misdemeanor:

21-4303. Gambling.

Gambling is:

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.

Anything that would fall under that definition would constitute unlawful gambling, unless by a means specifically authorized by the state. In terms of enforcement, the only times unlawful gambling we could find being enforced was against operators, typically of illegal gambling parlors with unlicensed slot machines.

Aside from that, there was a bust of eight people for running an illegal poker room, though, strangely enough, it actually advertised itself as a poker room. Maybe they didn’t know it was illegal?

Kansas is odd because online gambling should fall under the purview of gambling, but one year a bill was introduced specifically to make gambling online a Class B Nonperson Misdemeanor, which it already should be under a plain reading of the law. Anyway, that measure failed, I suspect because the law already covered it.

In any case, there has been no instance of an arrest ever taking place in the State of Kansas of a mere player for playing online that we could find, and we doubt that there ever will be. In the meantime, we won’t hold our collective breath on expecting the state to legalize and regulate online gaming, because that will probably be a long time coming.

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Land Casinos In Kansas

Kansas consists of nine total casinos with five of them being tribal and four of them being licensed and regulated by the state. Again, this might be much to the state’s chagrin, because they did everything they could to thwart the Indian casinos once upon a time. In any case, here they are:

7th Street Casino

The 7th Street Casino is owned and operated by the Wyandotte Nation and is located in KCK (locals recognize that as Downtown, Kansas City, Kansas–the Missouri side would be KCMO). The property claims to have an average slot hold of only 5.5% on its more than 575 machines and does not offer any table games.

There is no hotel and the property features a bar and cafe for dining.

Boot Hill Casino

Boot Hill Casino opened in December of 2009 and is located in Dodge City, Kansas. This is one of the casinos regulated directly by the State of Kansas and has an Old West theme throughout the property. It likes to bill itself as a resort, even though it has no hotel of its own. There is a Hampton Inn adjacent and a number of other hotels nearby, but it does not seem that there is any hotel connected directly to the casino.

In terms of gaming, the property has over 700 slot machines as well as eighteen table games that operate during varying hours which depend on the day of the week. Games include Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Chase the Flush, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘EmMississippi Stud and Three-Card Poker. If you want to play one of the less common table games, such as Chase the Flush, we would recommend calling ahead to determine what days and hours it is usually open.

The poker room opens at 6:00p.m. through the week and 4:00p.m. on weekends. This is the funniest thing I have ever read:

With three live action poker tables at Boot Hill Casino, you’re sure to find a game that’s perfect for you. Poker tables feature limit and no limit games with Bad Beat jackpot that’s growing every day!

With all THREE of those tables, how could you possibly not find your favorite poker game at the stakes you want to play?

Dining consists of a steakhouse that is a brunch buffet on Sundays as well as a casual restaurant. Maybe someone who has been there can tell me what makes this place the, “Resort,” that it seems to like billing itself.

Casino White Cloud

Casino White Cloud is owned, operated and located on the reservation of the Iowa Tribe. This is another property of limited scope, so limited in fact, that if you click, “Gaming,” on the website–nothing happens. They do have slot machines, though, a few hundred of them. The property does not have a hotel.

They have a very casual restaurant/buffet combo and, apparently, have four cabins for rent.

Golden Eagle Casino

I would be very disappointed if this place doesn’t have the Golden Eagle slots, I’m sure it does. This casino is owned by the Kickapoo Tribe and is located in Horton, Kansas.

This state features both Class III machines as well as Class II Electronic Bingo machines, as well as live Bingo. It should be easy to tell one type of machines from the other as individuals who are 18+ may play Bingo and Class II Electronic Bingo machines, but you must be 21+ in order to be permitted to play the Class III machines. That’s pretty convenient for those who go into mixed places and worry that they are playing a Class II (central server, pooled prize pool) machine as opposed to a Class III (EPROM chip, completely random).

Additionally, this property has several table games including blackjack and craps.

They have one restaurant called the Dreamcatcher Buffet, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway

Yay. Hollywood Casino. How exciting. Woohoo. Bestill my heart.

Please excuse the sarcasm, but there is no casino chain anywhere in which the casinos are more of a carbon copy, cardboard box, cut-and-paste job than are the Hollywood chain of casinos. I think the interiors come pre-fabricated. I guess this is slightly different because it is located at Kansas Speedway, so there’s that.

This casino is located in Kansas City, Kansas and is just a stone’s throw from North Kansas City, Missouri and the surrounding areas. I looked at the picture of this place and thought I was looking at the Hollywood in Columbus, Ohio. Maybe they used the same picture. It’s not like anyone would know the difference.

This casino has roughly 2,000 slots, fifty table games and also features a poker room.

Table Games include Blackjack, Craps, Crapless Craps, Roulette, Mini-Baccarat, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, Pai-Gow Poker, Three-Card Poker and  Mississippi Stud. They also list what are clearly live poker games (Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, Seven Card Stud) right in there as, ‘Table Games,” so that gave me a chuckle.

Restaurants featured are the Final Cut Steakhouse and Epic Buffet, yee-haw, just like every other Hollywood Casino known to man. How exciting. I wonder if all of the menus are the same, you could have a Grantville menu in Kansas and nobody would ever know the difference. They also have a cafe and a coffee shop. They don’t have a hotel on-site, but there are a number of them nearby, and you’ll be pleased to know that they are quite easy to get to.

Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel

Located in Pittsburg, Kansas, because they like to drop the, ‘h,’ the Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel is an average sized and accessible property geared mainly towards locals and nearby weekenders in the area. There are 123 rooms and suites combined and the property is technically a Hampton Inn, my guess is mainly for access to Hilton’s massive online booking network.

The property features several hundred slot machines and table games that are open on various hours on various days, which can be found here.

Games are mainly limited to Craps, Blackjack and Roulette, but there may be a few less common games open at varying times. What those games are the website does not seem to specify anything other than Mississippi Stud and Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, so we recommend that you call and ask if you’ll be in the area. It’s quite possible that is it as this is quite a small casino floor, despite the average-sized hotel. (By Midwest standards)

There is one casual dining restaurant in the establishment.

Kansas Star Casino

The Kansas Star Casino is owned and operated by Boyd Gaming and is part of the BConnected Rewards program. This is just another example of BConnected reaching out from what was their one-time barriers of Downtown and Off-Strip Las Vegas and trying to expand their coverage across the country. So far, it seems like they have been pretty successful as they tend to focus on properties the size and scope of those that they own in Nevada.

This property is located in Mulvane, Kansas and consists of nearly a thousand slots, several dozen table games including Blackjack, Craps, Crapless Craps, Roulette, Mini-Baccarat, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, Pai-Gow Poker, Three-Card Poker and Mississippi Stud. The property has a 3,400 seat arena as well as a poker room.

Prairie Band Casino and Resort

Prairie Band Casino and Resort is a Native American casino owned and operated by the Potawatomi Nation of Native Americans and is located in Mayetta, Kansas. The property bills itself as a resort and, to its credit, at least has a hotel right off of the casino, an RV Park and a convenience store.

The property has several hundred slots, with a listing of several of the newer titles on its website, as well as table games and live bingo during certain hours. The table games seem to consist of a ton of Blackjack as well as High Card Flush, Craps, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, EZ Pai-Gow, Let it Ride, Baccarat, Mississippi Stud, Roulette and Three-Card Poker. There is no poker room at this property.

Dining consists of a steakhouse, buffet, grill and a coffee bar. The dining here seems as varied as it would be in any other casino hotel in the state. Across the street, there is the Firekeeper Golf Course which is also home to the Firekeeper Golf Academy.

Sac and Fox Casino

Sac and Fox Casino, appropriately enough, is owned by Sac and Fox Nation of Native Americans. The property does not have a hotel, though there are probably some nearby convenient to Powhattan. They have roughly 600 slot machines as well as a few gaming tables consisting mostly of Blackjack and Craps.

The property has a buffet as well as a cafe and RV hookups if that is the way you’re travelling.

Race Tracks in Kansas

The laws in Kansas allow horse racing and dog racing but currently, there aren’t any operating tracks in the state. The last races were held in 2009. Slot machines were legalized for race tracks in 2008 but neither of the existing tracks could reach an agreement with the state to start offering slots.

Many believed the slot machines would save the race tracks, but when they couldn’t get the state to agree to their terms they ended up going out of business.

Poker in Kansas

Poker is only offered legally at the casinos licensed by the state. Most poker rooms are small, but games run regularly around Kansas City and in some other casinos around the state.

Lottery

Kansas residents can play the state-run lottery games and they can also buy tickets for Mega Millions and Powerball. Mega Millions and Powerball are multiple state lotteries.

Kansas Sports Betting

Kansas doesn’t have any laws that allow sports betting of any type in the state. You can’t find any legal sports books or bookies operating in the state and no casinos take sports bets.

Slot Machine Ownership

The only slot machines you can own as a resident of Kansas are the ones manufactured before 1950. This allows collectors to keep the oldest machines but outlaws any antique machines from the 1950’s and newer.

Bingo and Pull Tabs

Kansas has laws that allow many organizations to obtain licenses to offer bingo games. Educational, religious, veterans, and other non-profit charitable businesses can conduct bingo games as long as they follow the nonprofit laws of the state. Pull tabs may also be sold during legal bingo games where they’re called instant bingo games. Individuals who live in Kansas aren’t allowed to own pull tabs for any reason.

Conclusion And Prognosis

We don’t expect much to change when it comes to Kansas Gaming as they largely decided to have casinos because the Tribes were going to get them anyway, despite the state’s best efforts. They are also somewhat conservative on other gaming issues because, for reasons that no person capable of abstract thought can understand, they would not authorize the racetracks to have Video Lottery Terminals (VLT’s) which may have kept them open. As a result, there has been no live racing in the state for several years. The tax rates on race wagering handle are also ridiculously high compared to other states. Even if the decrease is authorized, they will still be absurdly high.

In terms of gambling, Kansas exists anywhere five-ten years behind the rest of the country, depending on what is being talked about. We believe they are more likely to get sports betting in before they do online gambling, but even the former could take as many as three years. They’re just pretty slow-moving on gaming issues.

The state is not liberal when it comes to gambling, but it is more liberal than one might expect a conservative state to be. While your options may be kind of spread out, if you’re willing to look around, you can find Class II and Class III machines, live bingo, live poker and table games. The charitable gaming laws are more than reasonable, and you have a state lottery. In spite of itself, Kansas is not stuck in prehistory when it comes to gaming anymore.

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