Missouri is a state that has been looking to legalize sports betting for years, but there just hasn’t been enough support from key stakeholders. Lawmakers in the state are once again making the attempt, and there are several bills on the table.
The House Special Committee on Public Policy held a three-hour meeting earlier this week, and two specific bills were being discussed. An official vote was not taken, but key members on both sides of the issue spoke up during the meeting.
These two bills are very similar to other pieces of legislation introduced in recent years, but there is more optimism this time around. Lawmakers are also getting some help from outside sources, and it’s a move that has paid off in other states as well.
Missouri is now surrounded by other states with legal sports betting, and it is costing this state money. Residents are simply crossing the state border into legal markets, and other states in the Midwest have benefitted from this action.
It’s unclear when the committee will be meeting again, and there is no clear sign that legal sports betting is coming anytime soon.
Professional Teams on Board
The fight to legalize sports betting in Missouri has mostly been done by lawmakers in the past, but that is much different now. Casino owners and professional sports teams have now teamed up to form a coalition that is putting pressure on lawmakers.
St. Louis and Kansas City are two cities that have some terrific professional teams, and those teams have all banded together in this fight. Of course, each team would also get something from legal sports betting as they could have the right to offer online sports betting.
In other states, sports betting was legalized after professional teams formed a similar coalition to get a bill passed.
Tax Rate Is A Debate
There are a number of key issues that could delay the process of legalization, but the sports betting tax rate is a big focus. The current bills on the table have proposed a 10% tax rate, and some lawmakers have argued that it isn’t enough.
A tax rate of 10% would be right around the national average, but other states have gone as high as 51%. The casinos and sports teams in the state will all push back if that tax rate is raised as they won’t want to share the profits with the state.
Could Become a Huge Market
If Missouri were to ever get a bill passed, this could become a massive sports betting market. The coalition of professional sports teams and casino owners has laid out how many potential online betting skins will be available.
According to the current proposal, as many as 39 online skins would eventually be offered. Most of those skins would go to the casinos in the state, but each professional sports team would get one as well.
Retail sports betting would also be available, but Missouri is expected to see most of the betting action done online.