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MO State Rep. Christofanelli’s Sports Gambling Bill (HB581) to be Debated in House
Missouri Lawmakers Hope to Join Kansas in Legalizing Sports Betting for Residents
Bill Eligible for Committee Vote and Referral to Rules Committee After Hearing
Sports betting is illegal in Missouri so gambling residents there must continue to resort to unregulated and illegal methods for placing their wagers, either through offshore sportsbooks or local bookies, neither of which can be held accountable for how they handle that action.
As we recently reported in Missouri Lawmaker Files Sports Betting Bill Because It Is “Already Happening,” the reality is that in the Show Me State there already exists too many active sports bettors to ignore, that issue now brought front and center by state Rep. Phil Christofanelli.
Rep. Christofanelli’s House Bill 581 (HB581) would allow Missouri residents over 21 to legally place bets on sports using both mobile and retail options, that legislation scheduled to be debated Wednesday by the House Committee on Emerging issues, according to KMBC News.
Rep. Christofanelli told the local news outlet that Missouri residents deserve a safe and convenient way to place those sports bets that they are already making, saying:
“Missourians should be free to engage in sports wagering. With legal sports wagering in nearly every state bordering our own, it is common sense for us to pass this bill and provide a legal and regulated framework that will generate revenue for our state’s priorities.”
The doubters only have to look across state lines to Kansas to see how effective this type of legal and regulated market can be.
Missouri’s next-door neighbor is Kansas where sports betting has been legal since September 2022, their ultimate goal (which they have made public) being to woo one or more of the pro sports teams based in Missouri to move into Kansas and benefit from that legal market there.
Since that September launch, KS bettors have generated a total handle of $719 million which has created $21 million in sportsbook revenue and $2.1 million in tax revenue for the state, money that should exponentially grow as that brand-new market begins to evolve and mature.
The NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs are about to play in Super Bowl LVII on February 12 which will bring plenty of attention Missouri’s way, though all that Missouri Big Game betting action will continue to flow out of state as resident bettors are forced to place their wagers elsewhere.
The next step for HB581 is to get past the House Committee on Emerging issues.
Should Rep. Christofanelli’s bill get green-lit by the Committee on Emerging issues, the next step would be a referral to the House Rules Committee after the hearing, a slow crawl towards legalization that over thirty other states have already been through on the way to a legal market.
Missouri is home to 6.1 million people and a good number of them are sports fans and active gamblers, so to continue to ignore that reality makes little sense anymore, those state lawmakers beginning to see it is also costing them millions of dollars in potential tax revenue.
Keep checking back for all the latest news and updates on this unfolding story.
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. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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