Wichita A Kansas judge ruled Monday that a card game known as “Kandu Challenge” is chiefly a game of chance and therefore illegal under Kansas gambling laws.
Sedgwick County District Judge Timothy Lahey issued a written decision in favor of the state attorney general’s office in a lawsuit filed by the game’s inventors and the owners of Highlands Gastropub and Cardroom in Wichita. The case went to trial last month.
The Kansas attorney general’s office contended Kandu Challenge is a thinly veiled illegal poker game and in June ordered Highlands Gastropub and Cardroom in Wichita to stop running and advertising games or face possible legal action.
That prompted the business owner, Cobra Crew LLC, and inventors Three Kings Holdings LLC to sue, seeking a ruling that the card game was mostly one of skill and therefore not illegal. They sought an injunction to prevent the state from prosecuting them for playing the game.
Lahey denied the request, ruling entirely for the state.
“All the elements of a lottery under Kansas law — consideration, chance and prize — are met after the completion of each game of Kandu Challenge as defined by its rules,” the judge wrote. “The court finds that Kandu Challenge is predominantly a game of chance and prohibited by Kansas law.”
Kansas Attorney General Steve Six said in a news release that he agreed with the Sedgwick County district attorney’s office, the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission and the city of Wichita that Kandu Challenge was illegal.
The state had argued Kandu Challenge is just Texas Hold’em poker with a different name, a different terminology and a few meaningless rule modifications.
There was no immediate comment Friday from attorneys for the plaintiffs.
Shane McCullough, the game’s co-creator, had testified that it is a game of skill because players get a peek at the cards for 3 to 5 seconds before they are dealt.