Missouri Legislature To Debate Sports Betting Legalization Based On Three Different Proposed Bills

Missouri Legislature To Debate Sports Betting Legalization Based On Three Different Proposed Bills

Missouri lawmakers are getting ready to start a new legislative session, with the legalization of sports betting as a top priority for both republicans and democrats.

As reported by KMBC, Parkville Republican State Senator Tony Luetkemeyer said he believes sports betting is something “really important” to people in the Kansas City area. He has filed a sports betting bill every year he has been in the state senate, and pre-filed it again for the fifth time last month.

Luetkemeyer claims the Show Me State is losing out to states that have already legalized the activity. “Now we have two of our largest border states that are also bordering our two largest cities, and what we’re seeing is revenue leaving the state of Missouri,” he assured.

Tony Luetkemeyer Another bill has been filed in the house by State Rep. Dan Houx, who claims to be “very optimistic” about the odds of passage. “I still have my coalition of the sports teams, the casinos and the mobile operators are still together,” he said.

Both bills would tax sports gambling at 10% and do not include provisions on regulating video lottery terminals, which are believed to have doomed legislation in the past. “I’ve always been a believer they are two separate bills,” Houx said.

A third proposal in the senate, which failed last year after pushback from casinos, combines them both. This time around, there is a more robust push for Republicans and Democrats because of what is happening in Kansas.

Democratic State Senator John Rizzo told KMBC: “I definitely think that Kansas getting it done, as well as Kansas putting a fund together to lure sports teams from the Kansas City area specifically, lit a fire.”

According to figures released by the Kansas Lottery through November, more than $536 million in bets have been placed in the state. There has been more than $10 million in revenue for sportsbooks, which means the state’s share through three months of legal betting is just more than $1 million. Missouri lawmakers think much of that money came from the Show-Me State.

Under Kansas law, 80% of that tax revenue is heading into a fund to lure professional sports teams to the state. Under Missouri proposals, the tax revenue would go into the state’s education fund, similar to money from casinos and lotteries.