Lawmakers propose three bills in push to legalize sports betting in Missouri

(Miranda O'Bryan)
Published: Dec. 20, 2020 at 2:03 PM CST
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KY3) - Three lawmakers have proposed bills in an effort to legalize sports betting in Missouri.

Republican Sens. Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg), Tony Luetkemeyer (R-Parkville) and Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) have all pre-filed bills ahead of the 2021 legislative session.

All three bills would allow retail and mobile sports betting in Missouri, but differ in application fees, tax rates and annual licensing fees, among other components.

Hoskins’ bill, pre-filed as SB 18, is the only one of the three proposals that would require royalty fees, meaning a small percentage of money wagered would to the governing bodies of the sports events in play for betting. The legislation calls for 0.25% of gross money wagered to be given to professional leagues for their games and 0.25% on NCAA Division I events to be given to in-state programs.

Other components include:

  • Application fee: $25,000
  • Tax rate: 9% of adjusted gross receipts
  • Annual license fee: $50,000

Luetkemeyer’s bill, pre-filed as SB 217, would prohibit college player prop bets, so the state would not allow bets related to occurrences or non-occurrences during a game that would not directly affect the game’s final outcome. The legislation also doesn’t mention branded online licenses, which would limit the state to a max of only 13 online sportsbooks through Missouri casinos.

Other components include:

  • Application fee: $10,000
  • Tax rate: 6.25% of adjusted gross receipts
  • Annual license fee: $5,000 (plus $10,000 to the Missouri Gaming Commission every five years)

Rowden’s bill, pre-filed as SB 256, would allow governing bodies to limit or exclude bets on certain events, but is the only proposal without a prop betting ban or royalty fee. Casinos and certificate holders could also partner with third party operators to conduct mobile betting statewide.

Other components include:

  • Application fee: $50,000
  • Tax rate: 6.75% of adjusted gross receipts
  • Annual license fee: $20,000

Missouri lawmakers presented six sports betting bills in the 2020 legislative session, but none managed to gain approval.

In a 2019 KY3 report, Chris Krafcik, the Managing Director of Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, projected the sports betting industry could generate up to $95 million of revenue annually for Missouri.

Missouri law specifies that state revenue from casino gambling must be spent on educational programs. If such one of the bills moves forward for approval, casinos would run sports betting, and the revenue would also be required to go to schools, unless state law is changed.

Twenty-six states, including neighboring states Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa and Tennessee, have already legalized sports betting.

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