Sports betting may soon become legal in Missouri.
Three state lawmakers have pre-filed bills in preparation for the 2021 regular session.
Different outlooks on Missouri sports betting
Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg), Tony Luetkemeyer (R-Parkville) and Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) are the Republican senators responsible for proposing the sports betting bills.
All three legislations support the legalization of both brick-and-mortar and online sports betting. The bills do have their differences, however, when it comes to logistics such as tax rates, application fees and licensing fees.
Sen. Luetkemeyer’s proposed bill, pre-filed as SB 217, includes a prohibition on college player prop bets. If his version is approved, operators would be subject to a:
- $10,000 application fee
- 6.25% tax rate – based off adjusted gross receipts
- $5,000 annual licensing fee – plus $10,000 paid every five years to the Missouri Gaming Commission
Sen. Rowden’s legislation, on the other hand – SB 256 – does not include any prop betting ban. Instead, the bill permits governing bodies to exclude bets for particular events.
Rowden’s bill proposes:
- $50,000 application fee
- 6.75% tax rate – based off adjusted gross receipts
- $20,000 annual licensing fee
Unlike the other two bills, Sen. Hoskins’ proposed bill, SB 18, requires royalty fees. This means a small portion of money wagered on sporting events would benefit each league’s governing bodies. In this scenario, 0.25% of gross wagers benefit professional leagues. Another 0.25% funds NCAA Division I in-state programs.
Hoskins’ bill proposes a:
- $25,000 application fee
- 9% tax rate – based off adjusted gross receipts
- $50,000 annual licensing fee
Missouri gambling laws
Next year’s assembly will not be the first time state legislators have considered sports betting.
The state’s previous 2020 legislative session featured six sports betting bills from Missouri lawmakers. None, however, made it through to final approval.
Currently, Missouri has a thriving casino industry. The state lottery and horse race betting are also legal inside state lines.
According to the American Gaming Association, the state collected $446.5 million in gaming tax revenue from casinos in 2018.
Missouri law dictates this revenue be used to support local educational programs. If sports betting is legalized, resulting tax revenue could be similarly utilized.
A 2019 KY3 report estimated the Missouri sports betting industry could produce an additional $95 million in annual revenue for the state.
In total, twenty-six states have legalized sports betting – including Missouri’s neighboring states Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois and Tennessee.
A legal market in Missouri could help keep revenue within state lines.