What Sports Betting in Missouri Should Look Like

What Sports Betting in Missouri Should Look Like

April 27, 2018 12:08 PM
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If Missouri Representative Bart Korman were a betting man, he’d say that neighboring Kansas will beat Missouri to the sports-betting punch. Why? Because Missouri’s state legislature is currently handcuffed by a governor battling felony charges and because, in Korman’s view, Kansas needs the money more than Missouri does.

“They have had some tougher financial times than we have had,” Korman told SportsHandle. “I’m not saying that our finances are great, and that’s why I’ve been looking at other sources of revenues.”

Like the nearly 20 states around the nation that have been considering making sports betting legal, Missouri is looking for additional revenue streams. And state lawmakers have been aggressively trying to get a sports betting bill to the floor of either the House or the Senate. During the current session, which ends on May 18, six bills related to sports betting have been introduced, and Korman’s HB 2320 in the House, along with Senator Denny Hoskins’ SB 767 in the Senate, appear to be the two with the most legs. Korman’s bill is currently awaiting a calendar date, while Hoskins’ bill is awaiting a third reading — needed before the full Senate can vote on the bill.

Korman, and legislative staffers, believe that neither bill will get to vote during this session. Rather, that 2018 will be the year that legislators learn, discuss and ultimately come to a consensus on what sports betting in Missouri should look like. Simply put, all the talk this session is laying the groundwork for speedy passage of a bill in 2019.

If things go the way Korman hopes they will, sports betting in Missouri will be made legal at casinos, through the lottery, and through daily fantasy sites, all of which are currently operating in the state. A good law, in his view, likely wouldn’t include the “betting right and integrity fee” that the pro leagues are seeking. Rather, the law would keep money that is already being bet in the state of Missouri.

“What I would like to see, personally, is doing it on all three levels,” Korman said. “We’re restricted on our casinos … they have to be on the riverboats and there is a limit of licenses. So, if you cap it and say only the casinos can do it, then it limits things, and keeps the black market thriving in a sense. That’s why I kept in the DFS, it’s really gambling and it is sports, so why not?”

“And then I looked at the lottery, To be honest, they haven’t updated in years, but I think they should have the ability to do that. Private businesses kind of already [bet on sports]: if a home run is hit in the seventh inning, then everyone in town gets a free pizza. So, sports and a potential win of something else is already out there.”

Check out sportshandle.com for the full article.