Sports Betting Proposal Revitalized in Missouri Legislature | Messages


JEFFERSON CITY — Fans of pro sports in Missouri may have an opportunity to win — or lose — big bucks. The House Committee on Public Policy on Tuesday examined the pros and cons of legalizing sports betting in Missouri.

This means that all fans of professional teams have the opportunity to bet money on live games. These teams include the Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, and St. Louis City Soccer Club.

Currently, sports betting and betting apps are not legal in the state of Missouri.

Bills that would legalize sports betting were introduced by Rep. Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Peters and Dan Houx, R-Warrensburg. Those bills, HB2556 and HB2502would help generate money that would then be used to fund schools.

“More than a sports bet, this bill is a revenue generator,” Houx said.

A portion of the proceeds would go to problem gambling programs.

“Sports betting is happening in the state of Missouri right now, and there aren’t any of these safeguards that accompany this type of activity,” Christofanelli said.

More than 31.4 million Americans placed bets on the Super Bowl in the United States this year.

Similar bills have previously been attempted at the Missouri Statehouse. This year, the bill is backed by a coalition of casinos and professional sports teams.

Bob Priddy, the former news director of the Missouri News Network, opposed the bills.

“In the five years since the bills were introduced, there hasn’t been a line in any of the laws that puts the state interests of Missouri first,” Priddy said in an interview. “The bills themselves would lower tax rates and give casinos across the state tax cuts.”

In 2018, Nevada was the only state in the United States that allowed wagering on live sports. According to the American Gaming Association, 33 states have now legalized sports betting. This has led to the generation of millions of dollars in tax revenues from sports betting companies and casinos.

Illinois legalized sports betting in 2020. According to the Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability report, sports betting was estimated to bring in between $58 million and $102 million for the state treasury.

If either HB 2502 or HB 2556 were passed, the Legislative Staff said the legislation would generate revenue of up to $96 million.


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