The Kansas state Supreme Court on Friday deemed a state law which aims to keep gambling machines away from bars and other businesses as unconstitutional since it was too broad and could similarly apply even to common machines as computers and games like “Twister” and “Chutes and Ladders”. The law that was attacked by the court was a part of an act that came in 2007 which also allowed slot machines and casinos owned by the state at horse and dog racing tracks. The provisions for slots and casinos will not be affected by the unanimous ruling of the court; however an opportunity has been opened by the decision for legislators to revise these in the future.
The ruling of the Supreme Court challenged a law that illegalized “grey machines” and any statutes that allowed the Kansas Lottery to confiscate them and make the act of placing these machines in a place where they can be accessed by the public a felony. A grey machine is defined by the first law as an electronic, mechanical or electro-mechanical device which can be used for the act of gambling if the lottery hasn’t authorized it or it isn’t linked to the central computer of the lottery or if it is capable of simulating a game which is played on a legal gambling machine. And according to Justice Eric Rosen, any computer, including the one he used to record the court’s opinion, would qualify as a grey device described by the law.
Rosen wrote that even telephones can be used for the act of placing bets and both ‘Twister’ and ‘Chutes and Ladders’ were children’s games which used spinners, which are mechanical devices that can be used for gambling. Even before the law came in 2007, non-lottery gambling machines in bars and other businesses were outlawed in Kansas along with making the possession and usage of devices used for gambling illegal. However, a Lindsborg attorney, Rebecca Rice said that those older laws needed the state to establish that the machines were actually being used for gambling purposes.