In the State of Kansas, other than forms of gambling that are specified by law to be legal, any other form of gambling is illegal and to conduct gambling as a player is a Class B nonperson misdemeanor. There is a greater penalty for those who operate illegal gambling on a commercial basis, and it is adjudicated to be a Class 8 nonperson Felony:
From the codes:
- 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.
Gambling is a class B nonperson misdemeanor.
21-4303a. Illegal bingo operation.
- Illegal bingo operation is the management, operation or conduct of games of bingo in violation of the laws of the state of Kansas pertaining to the regulation, licensing and taxing of games of bingo or rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto. Illegal bingo operation is a class A nonperson misdemeanor.
- This section shall be a part of and supplemental to the Kansas criminal code.
21-4304. Commercial gambling.
Commercial gambling is:
- Operating or receiving all or part of the earnings of a gambling place;
- Receiving, recording, or forwarding bets or offers to bet or, with intent to receive, record, or forward bets or offers to bet, possessing facilities to do so;
- For gain, becoming a custodian of anything of value bet or offered to be bet;
- Conducting a lottery, or with intent to conduct a lottery possessing facilities to do so; or
- Setting up for use or collecting the proceeds of any gambling device.
Commercial gambling is a severity level 8, nonperson felony.
21-4305. Permitting premises to be used for commercial gambling.
Permitting premises to be used for commercial gambling is intentionally:
- Granting the use or allowing the continued use of a place as a gambling place; or
- Permitting another to set up a gambling device for use in a place under the offender's control.
Permitting premises to be used for commercial gambling is a class B nonperson misdemeanor.
With respect to potential penalties, Class B Misdemeanors can result in up to six months in a county jail as well as up to $1,000 in fines and up to two years of probation. Kansas felony laws and proposed sentences can be a bit confusing, but as far as I can tell, eight months imprisonment seems the most likely result of a Severity Level 8 Nonperson Felony, but a person being let off with several months of probation is quite possible with either felony or misdemeanor counts in the gambling category.
Just last month, several gambling machines were seized from a Kansas business, but no arrests were made and the investigation is ongoing to determine whether or not illegal gambling was taking place:
Earlier this year, eight arrests were made at a poker room that, interestingly enough, openly advertised itself as such:
There is some question as to whether or not online gambling is illegal in Kansas, while the language of the law would seem to indicate that it is already a prohibited form of gambling, there was a piece of Legislation aimed, several years ago, to specifically make online gambling a Class B nonperson Misdemeanor.
There has also been no Legislation declaring DFS specifically legal, but legislation from last year declared fantasy sports (in general) legal and made no mention of DFS. Therefore, one would presume that DFS is legal.
In conclusion, Kansas is a really bizarre state to judge because the plain language of their statutes would lead one to conclude that Online Gambling would constitute unlawful gambling and would constitute a Class B Nonperson Misdemeanor. However, the Kansas Legislature, in spite of the interpretations that one would infer from the existent codes, attempted to pass a bill that would, in fact, make Internet Gambling such a misdemeanor and that bill failed.
Therefore, in spite of the plain language of the law and the inferences that could reasonably be made therefrom, Legislators in the State of Kansas apparently do not believe Internet gambling is illegal. Furthermore, DFS is not illegal by any statute and fantasy sports, in general, are patently legal. The Attorney General for the State of Kansas has also opined that DFS is legal in the State.
All of these factors combined with the fact that, even if online gambling were illegal mere players are extremely unlikely to ever be prosecuted, leads one to the conclusion that Internet Gambling is not illegal in the State of Kansas. However, this is offset by the fact that some Legislators actually tried to make it pointedly illegal, so I am going to determine that the state is moderately restrictive on the issue.
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