Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports activities

  • Regardless of promising begin, Missouri legislators didn’t legalize sports activities betting
  • A number of payments have been authorized, however nothing obtained previous the Missouri Senate
  • Sports activities betting discussions more likely to proceed in 2024

Missouri sports activities betting hopes have been shot out of a cannon and ended up being smashed right into a brick wall head first.

Sports activities betting discussions are once more useless in Missouri for 2023, because the Senate didn’t deal with the laws on the ultimate day of the legislative session final week.

What was such a promising begin for sports activities betting laws led to abrupt disappointment, as has been custom within the Present Me state for the final 5 years.

What Occurred in Missouri?

The Missouri Senate didn’t focus on sports activities betting throughout its ultimate day of enterprise on Friday, Could 12. Earlier within the week, Rep. Dan Houx  (R-54) efficiently submitted a sports activities betting modification to a Senate tax and financial growth invoice that was authorized by the Home of Representatives and despatched to the Senate for concurrence.

The amended invoice? It was a tax and financial growth invoice authored by Sen. Denny Hoskins (R-21), one of many largest proponents standing in entrance of legalized Missouri sports activities betting.

It was an fascinating tactic from Houx, tacking his sports activities betting modification to Hoskin’s invoice. Would Hoskins permit his invoice to die in favor of destroying sports activities betting as nicely? That turned out to be the case, as Hoskins’ invoice was known as to the Senate ground final week however the lawmaker laid the invoice over, efficiently dashing sports activities betting hopes for the state right into a nice paste but once more.

Regardless of laying his invoice over, Hoskins beforehand instructed Sports activities Betting Dime that he believed the modification was unconstitutional.

“Invoice DeWitt, President of the St. Louis Cardinals, and the invoice sponsor (Houx) have each publicly mentioned they consider sportsbook ought to cross by itself and so they don’t consider different gaming laws suits on a sportsbook solely invoice. I’m positive they might agree with me that sportsbook laws additionally doesn’t slot in payments regarding bringing extra jobs and financial growth to rural Missouri, which is the underlying invoice, SB 92,” Hoskins instructed Sports activities Betting Dime.

Hoskins had alluded to blocking any sports activities betting laws within the state that didn’t additionally embrace the legalization of video lottery terminals (VLTs)

Typical Finish for the State

Houx’s modification was a final gasp effort for Missouri sports activities betting after months of expectations.

At the least three payments have been floated this yr to legalize sports activities betting, two even pre-filed in December earlier than the January 2023 of the state’s legislative session. Hoskins and Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer (R-34) each pre-filed sports activities betting payments in December.

Hoskins’ pre-filed invoice (SB 1) tried to legalize each retail and on-line sports activities betting, however included the legalization of video lottery terminals (VLTs) all through the state. His invoice by no means made it to the Senate ground after it was killed by a Senate committee.

Luetkemeyer’s invoice (SB 30) additionally tried to legalize on-line and retail sports activities betting within the state, however didn’t embrace a VLT factor. Luetkemeyer’s invoice units the sports activities betting tax charge at 10% of adjusted gross gaming income. His invoice made it to the Senate ground after efficiently navigating by way of numerous committees, however rapidly grew to become mired in 12 proposed amendments throughout eight hours of debate.

Hoskins truly tried to amend SB 30 to incorporate VLTs throughout the listening to, however his modification was voted down.

Luetkemeyer ultimately pulled his invoice from the Senate ground with no vote taken on the laws.

Houx (R-54) launched his personal invoice within the Home of Representatives that was ultimately authorized by the physique and despatched to the Senate. Houx’s laws allowed Missouri casinos to accomplice with as much as three sports activities betting operators {and professional} sports activities franchises  to accomplice with as much as one operator. In-person sports activities betting will solely be out there at state casinos.

This is able to have allowed as much as 45 on-line sports activities betting operators in Missouri, as there are 13 casinos and 6 skilled sports activities franchises.

Each skilled sports activities franchise within the state supported the invoice throughout its public debate in committee.

The invoice made its solution to the Senate the place it by no means acquired a committee listening to.

What’s Subsequent for Missouri Sports activities Betting?

Hoskins isn’t going anyplace, so an answer between sports activities betting and VLT legalization must be determined if legalized wagering ever stands an opportunity within the state. It’s unlikely Hoskins will budge from his stance on VLTs, so discovering an answer to separate the 2 can be key.

It appeared as if the state had decided that the problems be separated this yr, as mixed VLT and sports activities betting payments have been defeated in committee, as have been amendments trying to tack VLTs into sports activities betting laws.

One potential resolution is placing Missouri sports activities betting to a vote. St. Louis Cardinals President Invoice DeWitt, a proponent of legalized sports activities betting, just lately instructed the St. Louis Publish-Dispatch that he supported a referendum to place a sports activities betting query on the overall election poll.

“We’re going to take a severe take a look at that,” DeWitt instructed the Publish-Dispatch. “I believe there are some things we could push on right here on the finish. We’re simply so annoyed. It’s working towards our followers and our residents who overwhelmingly help it.”

Representatives for the Kansas Metropolis Royals additionally supported the thought of a referendum query for the November 2024 basic election.

Robert Linnehan

Regulatory Author and Editor