Missouri Sports Organizations Join Push for Legal Sports Betting

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Missouri is one of the states that has yet to legalize gambling. However, that could change quickly, as several sports betting bills have been introduced to the state legislature. Fifteen days into the session, there’s still a long way to go, but sports teams are hoping they can fuel legalization.

Sports Betting Legislation Appears in Missouri

Senate Bill 764 (SB 764), a sports betting bill that was introduced by Tony Luetkemeyer of Parkville, is now front and center. It was assigned to Senate Appropriations Committee upon the reading of the bill.

If SB 764 is signed by Governor Mike Parson, sports betting will become legal. Bettors would be able to place wagers in person, online, or via a mobile device. Geofencing restrictions ensure that the bettors are physically present in Missouri.

Missouri’s six professional sports teams, along with the state’s existing casino operators, reached an agreement Wednesday to support legislation on legalized sports betting. This would allow for tethered wagering at existing gambling locations. This agreement is the first in the US of its kind.

A source within the industry told Sports Handle that the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Blues, and St. Louis City Soccer Club, as well as the Kansas City Chiefs and the National Women’s Soccer League Kansas City Current, would each receive a dedicated skin or mobile platform, but not a retail site, under the agreement.

More Skins in the Game

Three skins or digital platforms would be granted to casino operators per property. There is a limit of six skins. Each property would be owned by Penn National Gaming through Barstool Sportsbook and Caesars. They each would receive six skins under the agreement. Boyd Gaming, partnered with FanDuel, Century Casinos and Affinity Gaming have two retail properties each, while Bally’s has one. The tax rate would be 10%, and the proposal would also include an official league data mandate.

Since the Supreme Court dumped PASPA in 2018, several Missouri lawmakers have tried to legalize betting on sports. Senator Denny Hoskins is the leader of this effort and has tried to link sports betting and video lottery terminals (VLTs) into one legislative package. Hoskins had filed two bills ahead of the current session, one that included VLTs and another that doesn’t. In either case, the Missouri Lottery would act as the regulator of the gambling activities.

If either of these two is to succeed, it would be the non-VLT bill. While legislators seem to be amenable to the sports teams’ inclusion in sports betting, they are likely to oppose any bill that would legalize video lottery terminals.

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