HB556, SB30 Picking Up Steam
Two sports betting bills are gaining traction in the Missouri legislature following the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl LVII win. HB556 is scheduled for a hearing on the House floor today while its companion bill SB30 is expected to hit the Senate floor later this month. The two were introduced last month.
HB556, introduced by Rep. Dan Houx, would create up to 39 online skins and 13 in-person sportsbooks at Missouri riverboat casinos. It would tax sports betting revenue at 10% with the bulk of the tax proceeds going to K-through-12 education.
Houx has backing from a large coalition which includes Missouri’s professional sports teams, its casino companies, and commercial sportsbook operators.
Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer introduced the companion bill to HB556, SB30. SB30 is on the state’s “perfection calendar” today. This means, it will be debated on the floor, then once all amendments have been considered, a motion will be made to declare the bill perfected. If a majority of members vote to perfect, the bill is reprinted in its original or amended form. Then, the bill goes on the calendar for its third reading and final passage.
Don't worry, #ChiefsKingdom.
Only 187 days until football returns 🙃 pic.twitter.com/KAg3RWyzxd
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) March 5, 2023
Missouri Sports Fans Want To Bet
With the Chiefs’ recent Super Bowl win, the pressure to legalize sports betting is at an all-time high in the state.
“One of the witnesses said that there were over 250,000 attempted bets just on the Super Bowl alone in Missouri,” Luetkemeyer said via a Zoom meeting. “So, either those failed bets ended up just not being placed at all, they ended up being placed in Kansas or Illinois, or they ended up being placed with an illegal out-of-country bookie. Those are all huge problems.”
Missouri is bordered by four states: Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, and Arkansas, all of which have some form of legal sports betting.
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) March 5, 2023
Video Lottery Terminals Still An Obstacle
This is not the first time that Missouri lawmakers have made moves to legalize in the state. In fact, a similar bill also proposed by Houx made it to the Senate floor last year. Sen. Denny Hoskins stood in the way then, and may do the same this time around.
Hoskins introduced his own sports betting bill, which included the legalization of video lottery terminals (VLTs), however it failed to move out of its committee. Several lawmakers have expressed their concern with combining these two activities, and argue that they should be looked at as separate issues. The two bills set to be discussed this month, leave VLTs out of the language in the bill.
“If we had a standalone vote on a clean sports wagering bill, it would pass with flying colors in the Senate,” Luetkemeyer said.
That being said, Hoskins has stated that he will put his best foot forward in trying to thwart any effort that does not include VLTs. Even if these bills do pass, the actual launch would not come until August 2023.