Three bills have been introduced into the Missouri Legislature and the initiative appears to be on the fast track toward approval. Yesterday, one of these bills, MO HB 0619, was read a second time in the Missouri State House of Representatives.
The bill involves the regulation of legal sports betting in Missouri and features several components concerning the potential rollout of domestic sportsbook operations.
There is a lot on the legislative agenda for state lawmakers to consider in MO, as they are positioning themselves to approve a flurry of new regulations that allow a bevy of gambling options, including those that fall outside the realm of sports betting.
Currently on the table are sports betting kiosks and video lottery terminals which would allow for St. Louis sports betting to take place via remote, self-operated units.
Also up for debate is whether or not to allow Missouri’s riverboat casinos to operate on land. These three pieces of legislation would allow for just that.
Republican Missouri State Representative Wes Rogers is the main proponent of these new sports betting bills, and the language is crafted to allow for fewer regulations and smaller registration fees for sportsbook vendors who are looking to infiltrate the market in the Show Me State.
The legislation would allow for online betting throughout the state via mobile betting apps and/or domestic online sportsbooks.
Retail sportsbooks will be allowed to set up show within the 13 casinos that are already licensed and established in Missouri. The Missouri Gaming Commission is the governing body of these casinos, and their authority will expand to domestic sports betting operations if these bills are passed in their current form.
Because the state contains several professional sports franchises, regulations will have to adhere to the demands of the leagues involved. The market for sports betting in Kansas City is hot, but with the Chiefs in town, the NFL will need to be on board with any bets that are offered from a state-regulated book.
Quite often, sports betting legislation can get hung up on whether wagers will be allowed on college sports. As the current legislation stands, there are no proposed limitations to betting on NCAA athletics, and also includes an allowance for action to be taken in on prop bets.
These bills will need to conform and adopt the language that has been agreed upon by both chambers, but there appears to be a consolidated effort to move these pieces of legislation across the finish line sooner than later.
Missouri lawmakers have seen the impressive hauls that nearby states have taken in following the legalization of domestic sports betting, and now they want to enhance their state’s tax collections, as well as cut into the action of offshore sportsbook sites.
These overseas online sportsbooks are able to take bets from MO customers over the web because there are no state or federal gambling laws in place to prevent them from doing so.
Even these new MO sports gambling bills fail to prevent international sportsbooks from taking a piece of the intake, but approving of and opening domestic sports betting sites will serve to direct some of that revenue into Missouri’s treasuries.