Kansas Online Poker Ban Fails to Pass Senate

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The effort to legalize online poker intrastate in Kansas has won another small victory as a recent gambling expansion bill that included a stipulation banning online poker and other online gambling bill within the state has official died in a final state Senate vote of 24 – 15.

The victory was small, and a close call, however, as in a previous vote on just amendment demanding the online gambling ban itself passed with a more than 2 to 1 vote of 26 – 11. That means it’s not very likely that the online ban played a role in the overall bill failing to get a passing vote, rather that the primary focus of the bill, to attract an additional land-based casino to the state to set up shop in an unoccupied zone in the SE corner of the state where in-person gambling is permitted, was unpopular. Interestingly, that corner of the state is the only one of the four authorized gambling zones within the state not to have attracted a new land-based casino to set up shop there yet, no doubt in part because the area is so sparsely populated.

If the bill had passed, the amendment with the online gambling ban would have prevented all electronic video games and slots from the state’s brick and mortar gambling facilities before 2032. And it would have made online poker and other forms of online gambling a Class B, non-person misdemeanor, the penalty for which could be up to a $1,000 fine and 6 months in jail.