Three New Bills Proposed to Legalize Sports Betting in Missouri

In the spirit of legalizing sports betting in Missouri, three lawmakers have pre-filled bills before next year’s legislative session.

Another Attempt into Sports Betting Authorization in the State

Three US Republican lawmakers have submitted bills in order to legalize sports betting in Missouri. Sens. Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg), Tony Luetkemeyer (R-Parkville), and Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) have put forth slightly different draft bills that ultimately seek to regulate sports betting in the state and generate additional revenue for Missouri.

All of these bills come ahead of the 2021 legislative session and would authorize both retail and mobile betting in the Show Me State, although the three differ across key areas as entry fees, tax rates and annual license fees.

Hoskins will sponsor SB 18 which, unlike the other two bills, puts forth a royalty fee which implies that a small percentage of the money that is gambled is remitted back to the governing boards of betting sports events. The senator has already urged prompt action from his fellow lawmakers.

A 0.25% of gross money gambled would be received by professional leagues and the same amount would be given to NCAA Division I games.

Regulation for sports betting is emerging elsewhere as well, with something similar happening in Kentucky, where long-time sports betting backer Governor Andy Beshear has been urging lawmakers to submit bills to legalize the sports betting industry in the state next year. Presently, 26 states have legalized sports betting such as Arkansas, Illinois, or Tennessee.

Different Bills, Same Final Goal

Luetkemeyer’s bill, SB 217, includes a $10,000 application fee, a 6.25% tax rate of adjusted gross revenue, a $5,000 annual license fee, and another $10,000 going to the Missouri Gaming Commission. The bill proposes to exclude college player bets and would introduce the lowest tax rate in the country should it pass. A maximum of 13 betting licenses would be available on the market.

Rowden’s bill (SB 256) would authorize governing bodies to have the power to restraint or completely exclude betting on some events. The bill would come with a $50,000 application fee, a 6.75% tax rate of adjusted gross receipts, and a $20,000 yearly license fee.

According to the Missouri law, state revenue from casino activities can only be spent on education, so based on the current stature, should one of those bills pass, the revenue collected from gross receipts will be contributed towards the educational system only.

After proposing six sports betting bills during this year’s legislative session with no results, some lawmakers still hope to see some passing in 2021. Earlier in 2020, Missouri was still debating the legitimacy of gambling terminals in the state.

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