Missouri Sports Betting Bills Delayed Until After Legislative ‘Spring Break’ 

Missouri sports betting is on spring break through at least March 15.

The Missouri Senate and House adjourned before lunch Thursday for the state General Assembly’s scheduled spring break without taking a floor vote on a number of sports betting bills. That delays action until next week at least.

The Senate won’t return to Jefferson City to take up legislation until March 15. The House is scheduled to return to its regular order of business on March 20.

That postpones any legislative action on bills now pending in the House and Senate for a while longer. But it doesn’t kill the bills. Missouri state lawmakers have until final adjournment on May 12 to take up legislation in the current legislative session.

HB 556/581

Waiting for a vote in the Missouri House is HB 556/HB 581 by lead sponsor Rep. Dan Houx, R-Warrensburg. The proposal would open the door to 45 mobile sportsbook apps in Missouri – three for each of the state’s 13 riverboat casinos and one for each of six newly created professional “sports districts.” Retail sportsbooks would also be allowed for each casino.

missouri sports betting
Missouri legislators take spring break before voting on sports betting bills (Photo Contributor:RozenskiP)

All six of Missouri’s pro sports teams — the Chiefs, Cardinals, Royals, Blues, Sporting Kansas City, and St. Louis City SC —  are backing HB 556/HB 581. Speaking in favor of the proposal at a Feb. 24 committee hearing on the bills was St. Louis Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III, who described the delay in legalization as a “downside” for pro teams and fans.

“One of the downsides of the delay of several years here is that fans haven’t been able to (bet on sports legally),” DeWitt said, as reported by St. Louis Public Radio. “However, one of the good sides is that we’ve learned from other states. We’ve learned how to tweak this to make it more reflective of the market that’s out there.”

A fiscal note on HB 556 estimates that sports betting under the proposal would generate $950 million in adjusted gross revenue through 2027, including $70 million to $100 million for the state.

HB 556/HB 581 have been placed on what is referred to in the Missouri House as the “informal perfection calendar” and could be called any time after the break.

SB 30

Waiting for a vote in the Senate is SB 30 sponsored by Sen. Majority Whip Tony Luetkemeyer. That vote could come as soon as March 15, according to the Senate calendar.

Like HB 556, SB 30 would allow each licensed riverboat casino to apply for up to three individually branded sports betting apps, for a total of 39 apps tied to casinos. It would also create professional sports districts with one mobile sports betting app allowed per district.

Casinos would also be allowed to offer in-person sports betting under SB 30.

Time Will Tell if Missouri Sports Betting Has the Votes in 2023

Houx seems intent on getting sports betting through in some form this session. He told Gaming Today in October 2022 that he had a good feeling about sports betting’s chances in 2023.

“People want it. The legislature wants it,” Houx told Gaming Today. “It’s going to be a top priority – I’d say in the top 5.”

Time will tell, however, if any Missouri sports betting bill filed this session has the votes after the break.

About the Author
Rebecca Hanchett

Rebecca Hanchett

Legislative Writer
Based in Kentucky's Bluegrass region, Rebecca Hanchett is a political writer 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, Hanchett has been known to watch UK. basketball from time to time.

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