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Missouri Pro Teams Unite to Back Plan to Legalize Sports Wagering

Written by: Mike Lukas
Updated October 14, 2022
3 min read
Missouri Pro Teams Unite
  • Top Officials with MO Pro Sports Teams Back Sports Betting Plan in Jeff. City
  • Key Plan is to Separate Sports Betting Issue from Efforts to Legalize Video Gambling 
  • MO’s State Neighbors Have Provided “Roadmap” for Successful Sports Betting Markets 

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Top Officials with MO Pro Sports Teams Back Sports Betting Plan in Jeff. City

More than half the states in the US have successfully launched some form of legal sports betting for their residents, but for the last three and half years, Missouri has been dragging its cleats when it comes to passing legislation that would make it lawful to wager on sports.

It’s a costly delay for Missouri residents who could be benefitting from the tax revenue that type of market could generate, and that money motive has sparked at least four sports betting bills to be introduced to the Missouri congress for consideration as we previously covered in First of Several Missouri Sports Betting Bills Now Assigned to Senate Committee.

It could also be why St. Louis Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III, an advocate of a legal sports betting market in Missouri, and other top officials with Missouri sports teams showed up in Jefferson City last week to encourage lawmakers to move forward on this issue, saying:

All of the professional sports teams in Missouri support legislation that will allow wagering to occur in a responsible way in the appropriate setting.

A major sticking point has involved the surge of illegal video gambling machines.

Key Plan is to Separate Sports Betting Issue from Efforts to Legalize Video Gambling

What has held up this process, in part, is lumping the sports gambling issue in with the desire to legalize video gambling machines in retail locations such as truck stops, gas stations, liquor stores, and bars.

The concern by some lawmakers like state Senate President Dave Schatz is the recent surge of illegal video gambling machines that have been popping up around the state, that matter better handled separately from the process of legalizing sportsbooks in Missouri.

Jeff Morris, vice president of public affairs and governmental relations for Penn National Gaming, agrees, telling the press that the two issues are best handled on their own, saying:

We’re hopeful that sports betting can be debated on its own merits.

But the longer Missouri stalls on this topic, its neighbors continue to clean up.

MO’s State Neighbors Have Provided Roadmap for Successful Sports Betting Markets

Four states that border Missouri is now reaping the financial benefits of legalizing, regulating, and taxing a sports betting market for residents, with Iowa, Illinois, Tennessee, and Arkansas all with their own sports betting markets up and running now.

That means many Show Me State bettors who want to place sports wagers are most likely making the trip to neighboring states to place their wagers so that money goes elsewhere, or else it goes to illegal bookies or offshore sportsbooks instead of to Missouri.

In DeWitt’s view, the two main benefits of allowing Missouri bettors to place wagers on his Cardinals and all the other sports teams are that it would provide:

  • A more engaging fan experience for the fans
  • An important source of revenue for the state of Missouri

It’s the latter benefit that most likely has Missouri’s lawmakers and sports teams finding a kick in their step when it comes to figuring out how to get sports betting done there, so check back for all the latest news and updates on this unfolding story.

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Mike Lukas

Sports Betting & Gambling Industry Analyst

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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager.
Nationality: American
Education: N/A
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