Kansas Attempts to Ban Online Gambling

914483_54526013Over the course of writing this blog, we have focused on several states that are exploring legislation to legalize online gaming, including  New YorkDelawareIllinoisIowaNew Jersey and Texas.  Our post today looks at the only other state besides Utah that has attempted to ban all forms of Internet gambling within its borders: Kansas.

Specifics of Online Gambling Ban

Last week, the Kansas State legislature introduced House Bill 2055, which was publicized as a way to entice more brick and mortar casinos to set up operations in the State.  The relevant changes sought by the Bill are as follows:

  • Participating in online gambling would be classified as a Class B nonperson misdemeanor, punishable by a $1000.00 fine and up to 6 months in jail;
  • The minimum management investment required to open a brick and mortar casino would be reduced from $225 million to $50 million;
  • The State’s racetracks would be prohibited from introducing electronic gaming machines on their premises until July 1, 2032; and
  • Receiving permits to build brick and mortar casinos within the State would be easier and cheaper to obtain.

Luckily for proponents of Internet gaming, the Kansas Senate voted the Bill down by a count of 24 to 15.

Online Gambling Future in Kansas

It should be noted that the Kansas legislature did not attempt to ban online gambling in the State forever, specifically stating that the passage of House Bill 2055 would not prohibit the State from allowing online gaming if a federal statute is passed in the future. It will be interesting to see how the State legislature will respond to the Bill dying in the Kansas Senate: will they attempt to scale back the civil and criminal penalties associated with online gambling and try to pass the Bill again or recognize the financial incentives associated with Internet gaming and entertain the idea of legalizing Internet gambling within its borders, as its fellow states have?

If you are interested in learning more about this topic or pursuing a venture in this area, please e-mail us at info@kleinmoynihan.com, or call us at (212) 246-0900.

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