Motorcycle Poker Fundraiser in Kansas “Runs” into Problems

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Photo by theSuperStar via Flickr

August 11, 2012; Source: Garden City Telegram

Charitable poker runs have been banned in Kansas. The fundraiser entails motorcyclists riding from one location to another, picking up a card at each spot. The person with the best hand at the end wins a prize. Sounds fun, but in Kansas, it is illegal. That’s because in Kansas, as in only three other states, there is no charitable gaming exception. The only entity, in fact, that can run gaming is the state; talk about the house having the advantage!

Bill Miskell, who is the public information officer for the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, said, “What is illegal in Kansas are lotteries, and lotteries are games that contain the elements of consideration, chance and prize…if an activity involves those three factors, then that is an illegal activity under Kansas gambling laws.”

Miskell is not being entirely unhelpful, though. As quoted by the Garden City Telegram, he pointed out that, “What we’ve been encouraging people to do now, for about six weeks, is to put a deck, a regular 52-card deck, mount all the cards on a piece of cardboard, and when the first rider rides up, hand the rider a throwing dart, say ‘there’s the line, stand there and hit whichever card you can hit with that dart…So he is working on a predominant game of skill instead of a game based predominantly on chance.” –Ruth McCambridge