Kansas City was part of riverboat casino folklore in the 19th century, and after prohibition came, voted to bring back the boats in 1992. They don’t actually move anywhere nowadays but it can be said that casinos are very much part of Kansas City life, with 16 venues for keen gamblers to choose from. Other than this, there’s a popular lottery and charitable gambling games like bingo and raffles.
After the end of the 19th century riverboat casino heyday, gambling in Kansas City would go underground. Pari-mutuel betting on horse racing was permitted; however there were no racetracks, so gambling on horses was only possible on amateur races at summer fairs.
Kansas City gambling legislation is on the strict side compared to other states. Just being a player won’t help here, charges can occur just for being a player.
The general definition of gambling, which uses the ‘game of chance’ as its central definition, is as follows:
“Gambling”, a person engages in “gambling” when he stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome. “ (572.010)
Fast forward to 2019 though and the State Legislature introduced 7 bills related to sports wagering: HB 119, to enact 14 new provisions relating to sports wagering; HB 859, to enact 14 new provisions relating to sports wagering on sporting events on excursion gambling boats; SB 44, to modify several provisions relating to sports wagering on certain games; SB 187, to modify provisions relating to gaming and reducing the top income tax rate; SB 195, to allow sports wagering and sports lottery games; SB 222, to authorize sports wagering; and SB 327, to modify several provisions relating to gaming, the Missouri Video Lottery Control Act.
There’s even talk of Kansas City becoming a new gambling Mecca. Let’s see if Vegas has anything to worry about.