Missouri Sports Betting

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Missouri sports betting took another step toward legalization when lawmakers approved HB 2502, 115-33, in the state House in Spring 2022.

The Missouri House committee previously voted 4-2 to allow HB 2502 and HB 2556 to advance in early March. HB 2502 will now be considered by the Missouri Senate.

The legislation would allow Missouri’s riverboat casinos and pro sports stadiums to operate mobile sports betting, with up to three apps per casino and one app per pro sports league. Casinos would also be allowed to have sportsbooks.

There is a substantially higher tax rate of 21 percent proposed in a rival bill sponsored by Sen. Denny Hoskins of Warrensburg. Hoskins’ bill (SB 643) would allow in-person sports betting at riverboat casinos, via kiosks at casino-related hotels and restaurants, and mobile sports betting, with parlay games on sporting events run by the Missouri Lottery Corporation.

But the teams are all on board with the lower tax threshold.

“We’re all on the same page” for the 10-percent rate, said St. Louis Cardinals President Bill DeWitt. “All the teams support this.”

As things stand now, only riverboat casinos along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers are legal here — and none are allowed to offer sports betting. The Missouri Gaming Commission (MGC) notes that sports betting could produce $128.7 million AGR during this fiscal year. The MGC said that $143 million could be possible by fiscal year 2027. 

In February, Missouri pro sports teams and riverboat casinos tried to convince state legislators to legalize sports betting in the state. Both camps testified before the House Special Committee on Public Policy in favor of two Missouri sports betting proposals to grant mobile sportsbook licenses to up to 13 casinos and about a half a dozen pro sports stadiums and arenas.

A total of 31 sports betting bills are expected to be filed before the 2022 Missouri General Assembly ends its regular session on May 13. Missouri mobile sports betting is headed for a committee vote in the state Senate, with two bills moving toward a possible hearing soon. SB 764 was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee on Jan. 13, 2022.  SB 643 was referred to the same committee on Jan. 10.  

Online sportsbooks tethered to riverboat casinos would be allowed with state regulatory approval under both bills, with each casino eligible for up to three individually branded platforms.  

Should either bill become law, the effective date for the legislation would be August 28. That means a launch could be possible in the late fall or early in 2023. 

Missouri Sports Betting Updates

  • May 14, 2021 – Regular Session of the Missouri General Assembly ends
  • April 28, 2021 – During State Senate consideration a last-minute proposed amendment caused a delay in voting on the Missouri gaming bill.
  • January 2021 – Senate Bill 98 introduced
  • January 2022 – SB 764 and SB 643 were referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee SB 643  
  • February 2022 – Missouri pro sports teams and riverboat casinos lobbied to legalize sports betting, testifying before the House Special Committee on Public Policy and touting two Missouri sports betting proposals.
  • March 2022 – The Missouri House committee voted 4-2 in favor of HB 2502 and HB 2556.
  • March 2022 – Sen. Denny Hoskins sponsored another bill with a tax rate of 21 percent.
  • March 2022 – HB 2502 was approved by a vote of 115-33 in the state House.

History of Missouri Gambling

Missouri has taken steps toward modernizing its gambling laws over the past 20 or so years beginning in 2000 when the state General Assembly passed legislation allowing “continuous boarding” on casinos. Until then, riverboat casinos could only operate while cruising the water.

Today, Missouri has thirteen riverboat casinos that offer Las Vegas-style games including slots, blackjack, craps, and poker. Casinos are located in St. Louis, Kansas City, and near Joplin. Many are built on barges and moored to land. 

Recent talk has circled around legalized gambling on “nonfloating facilities” located within 1,000 feet of the rivers, with water beneath or “inside” the facility — indicative of a manmade pond and waterfall. That discussion is ongoing. 

Sports betting is also part of the discussion in Missouri, with at least seven bills to legalize sports betting tethered to riverboat casinos filed during last year’s legislative session. 

What Other Gambling Is Legal In Missouri? 

Missouri also has a state lottery, and allows track-based horse race betting, pari-mutuel wagering, and charitable bingo. 

About the Author
Rebecca Hanchett

Rebecca Hanchett

Writer and Contributor
Rebecca Hanchett is a political writer based in Kentucky's Bluegrass region who covers legislative developments at Gaming Today. She worked as a public affairs specialist for 23 years at the Kentucky State Capitol. A University of Kentucky grad, she has been known to watch UK basketball from time to time.

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