Royals back effort to legalize sports betting in Missouri
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The push for sports betting in the state of Missouri may be heading in a different direction if the current bill on the table doesn’t get approved by state legislators this week.
Ever since Kansas’ sports betting launch last September, they’ve been cashing in.
“Plenty of people on Sundays for NFL games this past season,” said Alex Gold, a host at 610 Sports Radio and a betting expert. “I know we saw photos where they are going out, pulling over on an exit just to cross State Line. They are going to their favorite convenience store, grabbing a cup of coffee in the morning, and hopping on their phone. This is the reality for a lot of sports fans in Missouri that are going across to Kansas.”
Gold has been following the sports wagering situation in Missouri closely and has seen a number of sports wagering bills stall in the Missouri legislature.
Just when it looked like this current legislative session would end without a bill, today legislators took a senate bill that had nothing to do with sports wagering and added amendments to include legalizing sports betting.
“I still think it’s pretty slim that something gets done by Friday evening,” said Gold. “It’s not a 0% chance.”
In the case it doesn’t pass, St. Louis Cardinals President Bill DeWitt and a number of sports teams across the state are pushing for Missouri sports betting to be placed as a ballot initiative for the voters to decide.
The Royals released a statement about this stating, “The Kansas City Royals are aligned with the coalition of professional sports franchises across the state and share the same frustration when it comes to the lack of progress in Jefferson City. We are open to considering a joint initiative petition campaign at some point soon.”
So, what do sports fans think of that idea?
“I think it would be great,” said Royals fan Patrick Vogt. “I think that’s really what it should be. It’s a great revenue opportunity for the state, and I think we are leaving a lot of money if they’re in Kansas.”
“I think they need to go ahead and legalize it in Missouri,” said Royals fan Mike Harding. “It’s going to be everywhere eventually. So, I don’t think it should be a big issue.”
Even if the initiative does get on the ballot, there is no guarantee it will pass.
Interestingly enough, tomorrow the Kansas Lottery Commission will be releasing their sports betting earnings for last month.
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