Missouri Sports Betting Still on the Table as May 13 Legislative Session End Date Looms

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With a recent win for Kansas in the race to legalize sports betting, Missouri is lagging behind their neighboring rival state. But, not to be counted out altogether, Missouri lawmakers are now working hard to clinch their own legislation.

Last week, State Senator Denny Hoskins introduced a new proposal for Missouri sports betting to the state Senate. However, he pulled the proposal back before putting it to a vote due to the opposition the proposal was met with. This is despite not including video lottery terminals in the language.

State Senator Hoskins cited opposition from some of the casinos as the reasoning behind the withdrawal. However, he did indicate that the deal has support from Missouri teams as well as some of the state’s casinos.

State Senator Hoskins had offered a sportsbook-only deal as an amendment to HB 2400. However, the amendment was filibustered.

This proposal came a week after Senator Hoskins had threatened to quelch sports betting legislation that did not include language for video lottery terminals.

The state Senate has already been discussing sports betting legislation HB 2502, which has passed the House as well as a Senate committee already at this point. HB 2502 would legalize retail sports betting at the thirteen Missouri casinos. It would also split 39 online skins amongst the state’s professional sports teams and casino operators. In addition, it would set the sports betting tax rate at 10 percent.

With a looming deadline of May 13 for the end of the legislative session, many Missouri sports betting supporters are worried there is not enough time to get it done. However, State Representative Dan Houx, who authored HB 2502, stated that there is already a deal in progress that would legalize Missouri sports betting this year.

However, it is looking like the Senate will probably be centering their discussions on budget-related topics at this time. That said, sports betting discussions can also be brought up at any time.

There is a coalition of Missouri casinos, Missouri sports teams, and national sportsbooks that have thrown their support behind several bills to legalize sports betting in Missouri this year. 

Earlier this legislative session, State Senator Hoskins filed another competing sports betting bill. This bill would legalize online sports betting operated through the casinos and would allow parlay bets to be offered by retail lottery locations. In addition, the bill would set a sports betting tax rate of a whopping 21 percent and an annual licensing fee of $150,000.

The most recent proposal from State Senator Hoskins set the sports betting tax rate at a reduced 15 percent. However, it also included an increased annual licensing fee of $1.25 million, which is quite the jump.

There are several points of conflict that remain obstacles towards the legalization of Missouri sports betting. These include the tax rate, the skin fee, and whether parlay bets should be able to be made through lottery retailers.

At the beginning of the legislative session, the proposal from the coalition was discussed in both chambers of state government. Sports betting legislation was able to garner more progress in the House with the introduction of Houx’s bill.

A couple weeks ago, State Senator Hoskins actually filibustered the sports betting legislation himself on the floor of the Senate. This was because he was hoping to add in language that would legalize video lottery terminals. Hoskins has indicated that he is not looking to cater to the requests and wishes of the casino industry in Missouri.

This is evident by his support of video lottery terminals, lottery inclusions, and higher tax rates.

At this time, the path forward for legal Missouri sports betting is not clear. However, there is still time to make it happen this year. And there are a few different avenues that can be taken.

Written by Allie Nelson, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert.

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