Missouri Squashes Sports Betting Bill
Sports betting continues to be on the mind of lawmakers in the state of Missouri, but this state continues to fail to reach the finish line. Lawmakers spent weeks discussing a handful of bills earlier in 2022, but a final vote was never made.
House Bill 4 was just introduced at the end of August in another attempt to bring sports betting back to the table. Missouri lawmakers are back for a special session, and there was some hope that a deal could be reached.
That will no longer be the case as Missouri Governor Mike Parson has removed sports betting from the table. Missouri law allows the governor to determine what can be discussed during special sessions, and he does not believe that sports betting should be included.
Much of the special session discussions will center around tax issues instead, and sports betting simply would have dominated too much of the discussion. A debate about sports betting tax rate has been an issue in the past and continues to be changed in every bill that is introduced.
Missouri is going to miss out on another season of NFL football to wager on, but things should heat back up in 2023. Bills can be pre-filed beginning in December, and it is expected that another batch of bills related to sports betting will be filed.
There are now over 30 states with some form of legal sports betting up and running, and Missouri continues to miss out. Missouri is surrounded by six different states with legal betting, and bettors are leaving the state to place wagers.
Details of Potential Bill
It’s nearly impossible to predict what a final sports betting bill will look like in the state of Missouri, but recent bills provide a good starting point. The most recent bill calls for both retail and mobile sports betting, and there could be close to 30 online licenses available.
Professional teams from the state of Missouri have supported attempts at legalization in the past, but most bills do not allow for in-person betting at the stadiums. Professional teams are eligible to partner with online sportsbooks, and there are some retail sportsbooks at stadiums throughout the country.
Most opponents of the legislation argue that sportsbooks should be tied into the massive video lottery terminals that are throughout the state. This continues to be a sticking point in discussions, and it has kept the state from passing a bill in the past.
Bettors Heading to Kansas
Now that Kansas has legalized sports betting, the pressure is on lawmakers in Missouri to deliver. Kansas is not expected to become a large sports betting market, but sportsbooks in that state are seeing some action from Missouri bettors.
According to GeoComply, bettors from the state of Missouri have been trying to bet illegally since those sportsbooks launched. GeoComply has reported that 340,000 illegal attempts to place a wager while still in Missouri have been found.