A Roadblock in Kansas

25 May 1999
Remember the bulk-email warning that Indiana Attorney General Jeff Modisett sent to around 180 operators of websites that either conduct or condone online gambling? According to Modisett, it's illegal to offer Internet wagering to anyone within the boundaries of Indiana. Last Wednesday, Kansas Attorney General Carla J. Stovall joined the battle by whipping up a similar letter.

According to Kansas Assistant Attorney General Gail Bright, the A.G. office has received complaints from Kansas citizens who were solicited in some way by online casino operators. Stovall's response was to a cease and desist email to several online wagering sites. The recipients were chosen from a list sites that a staff member compiled by hitting the search engines. Amazingly, the search yielded only 50 to 60 "offenders."

The warning should come as no surprise, as it was foreshadowed by an opinion on Internet gambling issued by Stovall in 1996. The opinion, like all other attempts to criminalize online gambling, is based on jurisdictional assumptions. In it, she states that, "In our opinion, if a bet is placed or a lottery entered into via a computer located in the state of Kansas, then the crime is committed partly within this state and participants in the crime may be prosecuted in this state."

In short, online casino operators who willingly and knowingly offer bets to Kansas citizens will have to shelf their dreams of one day visiting that state.

Bright couldn't identify the e-mail's recipients, nor could she comment on a plan for enforcement, because doing either could jeopardize an "ongoing investigation."

View a copy of Stovall's March 19 email.

View a copy of Kansas Attorney General Opinion 96-31.

Also see: "An AG Replies"

Mark Balestra

Mark Balestra is the Managing Director at BolaVerde Media Group. He previously worked at Clarion Gaming and the River City Group where he was the publisher of iGamingNews. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.