Kansas Online Poker Law
In 2013, Kansas lawmakers voted against a bill that would have allowed one new casino to open. In an attempt to appease some of the more conservative members of the state’s legislature — who comprise a majority — language was added that would have effectively ended any chance that online poker or casino gambling will ever come to the residents of Kansas.
Although that bill failed, it surely will come up again in 2014.
Kansas joins a depressing list of states where its residents will not be able to play online poker in the near future, no matter what kind of federal online poker law may be passed. Kansas is in the middle of a huge shift to the conservative side of the aisle, one that will have an effect on state policies for many years.
They say, “Never say never,” but if legal online poker comes to Kansans, it won’t be within the decade.
You don’t believe it? Language in that same proposed “gambling expansion” bill would outlaw video poker machines until 2030.
It’s funny -- Kansas is home to eight racetracks and casinos, some of which offer slots, table games, and poker, but opposition to any type of expansion — particularly the kind that would give people access to their games from their own homes — is staunch and solid.
This is despite the fact that the state is going through a casino boom, seeing two full-action casinos open since 2009. It’s revenue went up more than 600 percent from 2011 to 2012, when $92 million was collected. It’s possible that the more conservative members of the legislature are now pushing back in the wake of the casinos' success. Online poker and gambling is a huge chip for both sides of the industry. Getting Internet poker banned in Kansas would be a huge get for many members of the state’s legislature.
When Will I Be Able to Play Online Poker in Kansas?
The day Dorothy returns from Oz flying a MiG jet through the streets of Wichita. Or a significant political shift-change takes place in Kansas that would rival some of the more significant ones in history. Kansas politicians simply do not care about getting online poker legalized — quite the opposite.
To better understand the weird paradox that is Kansas politics, check out Thomas Frank’s What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America. Because of this phenomenon, online poker will most likely never have access to the state’s online poker players. In many places like Kansas, poker is still considered a game played by degenerates, the same kind of people who are sex fiends and drug addicts. To allow it to infiltrate homes is out of the question.