Could sports betting become legal in Missouri?

Published: May. 15, 2018 at 5:45 PM CDT
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Missouri and Arkansas are a step closer to legalized betting on professional sports thanks to a US Supreme Court ruling making it possible.

At Bair's All-American Sports Grill, they are looking at it as a potential boost for business and as something that could draw even bigger crowds for sporting events.

"Absolutely people want to do it," said Roger David, GM of Bair's near the Missouri State University Campus.

David said legal sports betting would bring even more people through their doors and more money for the small business.

"Obviously the NBA bracket; that's going to be the biggest one, and then the Super Bowl. Big, huge national events. World cup, possibly, could be something like that," David said.

The U.S. Supreme Court opened the door this week for legal sports betting, striking down a 20-year-old ban in most states. One Missouri lawmaker says it could happen here.

"I think it's an inevitability sports betting will be a reality in the State of Missouri quite soon. Illinois and Kansas already have bills that are moving. I think it is inherent on policymakers to put a policy in Missouri to make sure we aren't unnecessarily leaving money on the table," said Mo. Representative Justin Alferman, district 61.

Supporters say it would turn an underground market into a source for state tax revenue.

"I've always been curious about betting on sports. I've never done it. You know like Vegas betting or anything like that, but I've always been interested," said sports fan Sergio Garza.

Other sports fan said they have concerns about some people losing money in sports betting.

Rep. Alferman said he does see changes in gambling laws taking effect this year, but he does see it getting through the capitol next year. He believes tax revenue from sports betting could benefit education.