- Multiple Missouri lawmakers plan to introduce sports betting bills in the next legislative session.
- One bill will likely focus solely on sports betting, another will focus on regulating both sports betting and VLTs.
- There are plenty of pitfalls along the way, including the tax rate and who gets a cut.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Multiple state senators are planning to regulate sports betting in Missouri, which hosts one of the most popular teams in the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs.
The push for legalized sports betting seems to be coming from the Republican side of the aisle in Missouri, with Republican lawmakers such as Rep. Dan Shaul, Sen. Denny Hoskins and Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer planning to introduce sports betting bills in the next legislative session.
“We need to do something,” said Rep. Shaul. “People in Missouri want to be able to bet on sports.”
Shaul’s plan seeks to regulate both sports betting and video lottery terminals, in what he thinks of as a two for one deal.
“We’ll take legalized betting and also the video lottery terminals and add those together and deal with both issues at one time,” Shaul said.
Rep. Hoskins agrees with the basic premise, but cites significant obstacles in the process of regulating sports betting in Missouri.
“I wish it was as simple as 'hey you want to bet on sports then you just bet on sports,'” Hoskins said. “Obviously when you look at the big picture that’s what we’re trying to do, but a lot of the devil is in the details.”
Specifically, Hoskins mentioned "royalty fees and tax rate and things like that” as issues that would have to be worked out before a sports betting bill could pass.
That said, both of them agree that something has to be done in order to get the state a cut of the gambling that is already happening.
“Right now we are the wild wild west and people are doing their own thing,” Shaul opined. “It’s time that we as legislators need to step up and do something.”
Online gambling fans will have to wait and see what that something ends up being when Missouri’s lawmakers reconvene. Another six proposals are also submitted to be on the 2022 Missouri ballot should these attempts fail.