Missouri Joins the Discussion to Add Legalized Sports Wagering

Missouri Legalized Sports Wagering

  • Three Missouri Senators introduced bills aimed to get sports wagering targeted for 2021
  • Inducements for sportsbook operators & casinos include moderate taxes & entry fees
  • New sportsbook success in nearby states including Tennessee & Illinois possible catalyst

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Perhaps it was headlined leaking toward the front pages of sports wagering success in nearby midwestern states Illinois and Indiana and soon Michigan. That could have been the catalyst prompting three Missouri Republican legislators to seriously begin discussions to bring sports betting into the Show-Me State.

The 2021 legislative session starts at the Capitol in January and three Missouri senators filed a similar bill to legalize sports betting. Echoing an act nearly all of Missouri’s surrounding states have already done. The senators said legalizing sports betting could bring an estimated $50 million to the state in revenue, aimed toward funding education.

Among the trio of legislative sponsors, Sen. Denny Hoskins R-Warrenburg explained:

What I’ve seen and what I’ve talked to many Missourians about is many of them are either number one, using an illegal app to currently make those bets on different professional sports teams, or they are literally driving across the state line.

Hoskins said that entering 2021 as many as twenty-six US states have already legalized sports wagering and Missouri is looking to be included among the growing list to be involved. The Senator has also filed a pre-filled SB 18 bill earlier this month to allow sports betting into the state.

While supporting his opinion and basis for the bill, Hoskins said:

I believe if you want to make a bet on the Kansas City Chiefs or St. Louis Cardinals or Kansas City Royals or St. Louis Blues or even the MU football or basketball team, that you should be able to place that bet. My bill would simply allow sports betting and sportsbook here in the state either at a casino or either online on your phone using an app like William Hill.

The proposed legislative bill under Hoskins would have a 9% tax for casinos and sportsbooks. There also would be some other fees and cost for license application. Most of those fees would cover the charges and administrative fees for the Missouri Gaming Commission to regulate sportsbooks in the state.

Alternative Bills Proposed

Two other Missouri senators also proposed bills in support of moving sports wagering forward in the state early in 2021.

Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer R-Parkville will sponsor SB 217 that will allow both online and in-person wagering, however, each casino would only have one skin for each location. The Missouri Gaming Commission would also regulate sports betting with college prop betting not being allowed.

Luetkemeyer suggested a tax rate at 6.25% on gross adjusted revenue, which would make it the lowest in the US for sports wagering. SB 217 is also proposing a $10,000 application fee, $5,000 administration fee every year, plus $10,000 license renewal due every five years. The five-year renewal fee is the same as in Hoskin’s SB 18 bill. League data fees are to be determined with no royalty fees.

The third alternative was proposed by Senate Majority Floor Leader, Caleb Rowden.

In Rowden’s SB 256 proposal mobile and in-person location betting would be available. The Missouri Gaming Commission would oversee the industry and within Rowden’s proposal would allow for college proposition wagering.

Taxes would be set at 6.75% of adjusted gross receipts with this proposal. A $20,000 administrative fee would be required each year along with $10,000 license renewal due every five years. Rules akin to SB 18. There would be no league data fees, however, leagues could limit bets on games within their individual leagues. No royalty fees would be charged.

The first session for 2021 begins on January 6. Look for progress and excellent potential for Missouri to be added to the growing list of US states offering legalized sports wagering.

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Larry Gibbs

Expert on Sports Betting Industry

Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.

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