More Bills Filed In Hopes of Bringing Legal Sports Betting to Missouri

Senator Tony Luetkemeyer pre-filed Senate Bill 30, which focuses solely on sports betting as it removes any VLT requirements, while Senator Danny Hoskins has put forward another bill, Senate Bill 1, that again combines both betting and VLTs.

Last Updated: Dec 5, 2022 8:11 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
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Once again, calls for revisiting legal sports betting in Missouri are being put forward, as new bills have been pre-filed ahead of the 2023 state legislative session. 

Republican Senator Tony Luetkemeyer pre-filed Senate Bill 30, following the state's latest failed attempt to push through House Bill 4 back in May — and its current state of limbo after HB 4 was reintroduced in September.

One of the key factors of SB 30, is the raised percentage that retail and online sports betting sites would be taxed (from 8% to 10%) while removing the issue of VLTs from the bill completely — one of the main reasons HB 4 failed earlier this year.

The proposal will also push for at least $500,000 annually set aside for problem gambling support, with online operators needing to pay an application fee that will not exceed $150,000, with an annual license renewal fee not to exceed $125,000.

As well as traditional sports, it should be noted that esports wagering is also included in this bill, an avenue which many sportsbooks are expanding into with the need to engage younger generations.

Not the first time

The failure of previous legislature attempts have mainly centered around Republican Senator Danny Hoskins' determination to combine sports betting and video lottery terminals (VLTs) on the same bill.

The combined approach of labeling sports betting as a gambling game was ultimately what did in HB 4, but Hoskins has also put forward another new bill with the filing of Senate Bill 1, which once again combines betting with VLTs — with some notable changes from before.

Issues were raised with previous bills put forward that called for just $250,000 set aside for problem gambling services. This was considered far too low by lawmakers, who raised concerns about problem gambling, and SB 1 would require at least $5 million annually to be set aside to the state's Compulsive Gambler Fund.

Hoskins' new bill would also call for a $300 annual fee for VLTs with a 36% tax rate, while on the betting side, retail betting would be allowed at state casinos — with a $150,000 application free and $125,000 annual renewal fee.

Each casino would be allowed up to two mobile wagering licenses, with a $250,000 annual fee for the first one and a $500,000 annual fee for a second online betting license, and the tax rate would be 10%.

Sports teams giving full support

With the financial revenue possibilities available to sports teams with the legalization of sports betting, and Missouri's neighboring states having all taken the regulated betting plunge, there are plenty of teams in the Show-Me State hoping for a slice of the pie.

Soccer is the most popular globally, with heightened marketing right now as the 2022 FIFA World Cup rolls on, and with St. Louis City entering their expansion season in Major League Soccer in 2023, they would be keen to benefit from legalization, as would the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, and the MLB's St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals — especially from Luetkemeyer's SB 30, which would allow teams to partner with a mobile operator in designated betting areas around the team's home venues.

As for Missouri's neighbors:

  • Illinois has become a leading state in sports betting volume since legalization in 2020.
  • Iowa has become one of the Top 5 states in per capita handle since legalizing online sports betting in August 2019.
  • Tennessee only offers mobile sports wagering, but just reported its first month above $400 million in handle since going live in late 2020.
  • Arkansas moved slowly and introduced laws to allow limited in-person betting in 2022, but immediately pushed measures further to allow eight online sportsbooks to operate.
  • Kansas launched regulated sports betting on September 1.

Missouri sits alone in the middle currently with no legal sports betting. Sports fans around most of the country, especially in neighboring states, are enjoying the opportunities to bet on their favorite sports legally and safely.

Fans — and teams — in Missouri stadiums and homes seem frustrated and left out.

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