Missouri Lawmakers Planning to Support Sports Betting Legislation

Missouri Lawmakers Planning to Support Sports Betting Legislation
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Lawmakers in Missouri are prepared to bring legal sports betting to the state.

Bill Sponsor Speaks Out

Sen. Denny Hoskins, a Republican who represents the central and western regions of the state, reiterated to KSDK his intentions to bring legal sports betting to Missouri.

“I wish it was just as simple as, ‘Hey, if you want to bet on sports, then you just bet on sports,’ ” Hoskins said in an interview with KSDK. “Obviously, when you look at the big picture, that’s what we’re trying to do, but a lot of the devil is in the details.”

Hoskins previously sponsored Senate Bill 18, which would have permitted online sports betting in addition to retail sports wagering at the state’s 13 casinos. The bill would have allowed for as many as three online skins for each casino. But this bill, along with Senate Bill 217 and 256, failed in 2021.

“Some of the issues that we’ve had in the past as far as royalty fees and tax rate and things like that we’ve been working on with many of the stakeholders involved,” Hoskins told KSDK.

Getting Support In the House

Rep. Dan Shaul also advocated for sports betting, telling KSDK, “We need to do something. People in Missouri want to be able to bet on sports.”

Missouri’s neighbors have already launched online sports betting markets. Iowa, Illinois and Tennessee have gone live with their online sportsbooks and have produced some of their biggest sports betting handles in recent months.

Hoskins estimates around $20 million in revenue would be generated for the state, with the funds going to education and veteran’s homes. Shaul believes with the addition of sports betting and video lottery terminals, the state could produce hundreds of millions in taxes.

“We could be making on the video lottery terminals, and the sports games, we could bring in $400 million-plus a year in taxes,” Shaul said. “We’ll take legalized betting and also the video lottery terminals and add those together and deal with both issues at one time.”

No Legal Market

Without a legalized market, those looking to bet in Missouri have to resort to offshore websites or illegal bookies. Both Shaul and Hoskins are looking to bring a legalized market to ensure safe play for Missouri residents.

“Right now, we are the wild, wild, west and people are doing their own thing,” Shaul said. “it’s time that we as legislators need to step up and do something.”

Legislators were able to begin pre-filing bills for the spring session today.