Where does the Missouri sports betting legalization effort currently stand?
January 29, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, United States; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) gestures before the snap against the Cincinnati Bengals in the third quarter of the AFC Championship game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
- The Missouri Legislature will reconvene on March 20
- Both the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives are reviewing sports betting bills
- Video lottery terminals are not included in sports betting
Missouri’s sports betting effort appeared to be shooting out of a cannon at the start of the 2023 Show-Me state legislative session, but has slowed significantly as both houses pause until March 20.
Both the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives have sports betting legislation on their perfection calendars, but neither chamber has heard either piece of legislation on their floors.
State legislatures have until May 12th, so what are the odds for sports betting in Missouri?
Missouri Senate slowed by filibuster
The final two days of the Missouri Senate session before spring break were used by Democratic senators pushing through a bill banning states from providing gender-affirming health care to minors. Senators spoke at length on the issue for the final two days of the session before adjourning a day early for spring break.
The Senate reconvened briefly on Wednesday, March 15, but sports betting was not addressed. So where is that Senator Tony Luetkemeyer Sports Betting Act, SB 30, aimed at legalizing retail and online sports betting in the state when session resumes Monday?
Luckily for sports betting hopefuls in Show Me State, time is still on their side as bills are still being considered until Friday May 12th.
SB 30 is currently on the Senate bill calendar for “perfection,” which would bring the document to the Senate for possible amendments. After all changes have been incorporated, the bill is either approved “as perfected” and sent on to its third hearing, or it is rejected and not pursued further.
Video lottery terminals not included
Luetkemeyer’s bill aims to legalize online and retail sports betting in the state, but does not include a video lottery terminal (VLT) element. The bill sets the tax rate for sports betting at 10% of adjusted gross gaming revenue.
Missouri casinos may operate retail sportsbooks under SB 30 with up to three individually branded interactive sportsbooks. It may conduct online sports betting with up to one interactive sports betting platform.
The application fees for each license are $100,000. An online sports betting site can apply to the Missouri Gaming Commission to conduct sports betting for a maximum application fee of $150,000. Each year after licensing, platforms can submit a renewal fee of up to $125,000.
Another hopeful point? It seems like Missouri lawmakers in both chambers have agreed to deal solely with sports betting, diverting it from the controversial VLT element that killed its chances in the 2022 session.
The Senate Appropriations Committee is blocking a bill Sen. Danny Hoskins that would have legalized sports betting and video lottery terminals, a form of gambling that would be allowed in certain state-owned truck stops, rest stops, and certain liquor-licensed stores. The committee’s decision to move forward with a sports betting-only bill likely offers us a glimpse into the mindset of lawmakers at this session.
Hoskins’ bill, SB 1, permitted VLTs “in fraternal organizations, veterans’ organizations and truck stops, as such terms are defined in the Act, and in business entities authorized to sell spirits as a beverage.” VLTs would have been taxed at 36% and lottery establishments would have been limited to five machines and other businesses to eight machines.
While it seems like good news that the Senate divorced the two issues, Hoskins previously blocked sports betting legislation that did not include VLTs. He has hinted he will do the same this year if the bill is brought to the floor.
Waiting for Perfection by House of Reps
A very similar sports betting bill to Luetkemeyer is currently sitting in the Missouri House of Representatives awaiting its chance to be called to perfection. The House briefly held a technical meeting on Thursday, March 16, but sports betting was not addressed.
Rep. Dan Houx (R-54) And MP Phil Christofanelli (R-106) have identical sports betting laws that have made their way through the House of Representatives committees and are currently awaiting a call for perfection by the House of Representatives.
Bills, HB 556 and HB 581, both of which will legalize retail and online sports betting for state casinos and professional sports franchises in Missouri, were recently approved by the Rules Committee and moved to the House of Representatives. Both are on the house’s informal schedule for perfection.
The bills have the backing of every professional sports franchise in the state and most state casinos.
If passed, the legislation will allow Missouri casinos to work with up to three sportsbooks and professional sports franchises the ability to work with up to one operator. Personal sports betting is only available at state casinos.
The bills set the sports betting tax rate at 10% of adjusted gross revenue and do not include a VLT component.
So where is Missouri?
It leaves Show Me State with probably its best shot at legalizing sports betting this year. Both the House and Senate seem to agree that sports betting should not involve VLTs, stalling efforts to legalize it in 2022.
Both Senate and House sports betting bills are similar enough that any possible disagreements can be settled before the May 12 deadline for enforcing the bills.
However, the VLT problem is still big. Hoskins has blocked legislation in the past that didn’t legalize VLTs, so it’s not out of the question that he will follow the same tact again this year.
https://www.sportsbettingdime.com/news/betting/where-missouri-sports-betting-stands-now/ Where does the Missouri sports betting legalization effort currently stand?