Efforts to bring sports betting to Missouri are gaining momentum in 2024, with two new legislative proposals, SB852 and SB824, introduced by state lawmakers. These bills aim to legalize and regulate sports betting, following unsuccessful attempts in previous years, despite neighboring states like Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, and Arkansas having already legalized it.
Fresh Start for Missouri Sports Betting in 2024 Legislative Session
Senator Tony Luetkemeyer is spearheading SB852, focusing on legalizing online sports betting. This bill proposes partnerships between the state’s riverboat casinos and up to three online sportsbook operators. Additionally, it allows Missouri’s professional sports teams to each team up with one online sports betting operator.
Key elements of SB852 include a 12% tax on adjusted gross wagering receipts, with revenues benefiting the state’s education fund. The bill also emphasizes responsible gaming and includes provisions for self-exclusion programs and a mandatory gambling impact study every five years. Other notable aspects are:
- A $100,000 licensing fee with quadrennial renewals
- A minimum gambling age of 21
- Prohibitions on betting on school and in-state college sports, including restrictions on prop bets for college events
A gradual reduction in the deductibility of promotions, starting at 100% in the first year
Senator Denny Hoskins’ SB824 shares many similarities with SB852, advocating for similar sports betting structures and responsible gaming measures. Hoskins is also advocating for the legalization of gaming machines under the lottery to support veterans’ homes and cemeteries. His proposal includes a 10% tax rate and addresses the current ambiguous legal status of video lottery terminals (VLTs).
SB824 also suggests allowing riverboats to collaborate with two mobile sports betting providers, with higher administrative fees of $250,000 for the first and $500,000 for the second partnership.
Collaborative Push from Missouri’s Sports Teams for Legalization
In November 2023, Missouri’s Secretary of State John Jay Ashcroft approved the final language for a ballot initiative spearheaded by the Missouri Pro Sports Coalition. The group now needs to gather 170,000 signatures to get the sports betting question on the ballot.
This coalition, comprising Missouri’s professional sports teams, has filed eight proposals to amend the state constitution via a referendum. These proposals all recommend a 10% tax on sports wagers and the creation of a $5 million problem gambling fund. If passed, the measure would enable professional sports teams and 13 casinos in Missouri to offer both on-site and online sports betting accessible statewide.
Impact of New York’s Record Sportsbook Revenue on Future Legislation
The unprecedented revenue surge in December 2023 for New York’s online sportsbooks could influence future sports betting legislation and regulations in the state. Lawmakers and regulatory bodies might use these record-breaking figures to assess the effectiveness of current gambling policies and consider potential revisions or expansions. This surge in revenue and betting activity could also lead to enhanced responsible gambling measures and further investments in gambling addiction programs. As New York continues to set benchmarks in the sports betting industry, it paves the way for a more robust and regulated betting environment, balancing economic benefits with social responsibility.
Missouri’s move towards legalizing sports betting with the introduction of SB852 and SB824 marks a significant step forward. These bills, reflecting collaborative efforts from lawmakers and the Missouri Pro Sports Coalition, aim to establish a regulated sports betting environment, potentially aligning Missouri with neighboring states that have already embraced sports wagering. The success of these initiatives could bring new economic opportunities and regulatory frameworks to Missouri’s gaming landscape.