Missouri could become the latest state in the United States to legalise sports betting after lawmakers pre-filed legislation that would allow their residents to place wagers.
The success of other states throughout the month of October, which saw New Jersey break a $1 billion sports betting handle for the second consecutive month, has clearly started to influence others that it is too much revenue to ignore.
More than half of the nation’s states now have legislation in place that make it legal to take part in sports betting and more are expected to follow in the coming months. New York is hoping to begin operations in time for the Super Bowl in February.
Missouri lawmakers are now making an early push of their own, with Senator Denny Hoskins telling KSDK that he intends to bring legal sports betting to the state in the near future in a recent interview.
“I wish it was just as simple as, ‘Hey, if you want to bet on sports, then you just bet on sports,’ ” he 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.
“Some of the issues that we’ve had in the past as far as royalty fees and tax rate and things like that we’ve been working on with many of the stakeholders involved.”
There have been a number of Senate Bills rejected in recent times, with Senate Bills 217, 256 and 18 all failing during 2021. Hoskins sponsored the latter attempt which would’ve made online sports betting legal in the state, as well as adding retail sports wagering to 13 different casinos across Missouri.
Member of the Missouri House of Representatives, Dan Shaul, also outlined his desire to see sports betting brought to the state, with the potential revenue that it can bring in taxes being the main sticking point.
“We need to do something. People in Missouri want to be able to bet on sports,” he said.
“We could be making on the video lottery terminals, and the sports games, we could bring in $400 million-plus a year in taxes. We’ll take legalized betting and also the video lottery terminals and add those together and deal with both issues at one time.
“Right now, we are the wild, wild, west and people are doing their own thing. It’s time that we as legislators need to step up and do something.”
Missouri has likely been inspired by the success of their bordering neighbour states too, with Iowa, Tennessee and Illinois all launching online sportsbooks and have all produced notable sports betting handle numbers in recent times.