Missouri Sports betting Guide
Since the repeal of the PASPA back in May 2018, a wave of sports betting changes has been leading to regulation of sports betting across different states in the nation. So far, however, Missouri isn’t part of the movement yet. Despite that, it doesn’t mean that the final nail in the coffin has been hammered yet. A couple of state lawmakers have been fighting tooth and nail by tabling proposals since 2018 in a bid to join the sports betting bandwagon.
While no bill has been passed into law yet to regulate the activity, many are still optimistic that sports betting will be legal in the state of Missouri soon and follow example of the New Jersey sports betting success. Here is a quick guide that will give you more insight on the progress that has been made so far, the setbacks that have slowed things down and what we expect in the near future.
History of Sports Betting in Missouri
Sports betting in Missouri has always been categorized as illegal, even though many other forms of gambling are now legal and state-regulated. If you look back to the early 1800s, the gambling industry was thriving with riverboat casinos and 20 horse racing tracks which took wagers. This lasted until the end of the century, but things changed at the beginning of the 20th century. All forms of gambling were declared illegal in Missouri.
Hope was however rekindled when horse racing was revived in 1994, even though on a restricted level. For instance, at that time, off-track betting wasn’t allowed unless there was a live horse race. These milestones would turn out to be the initial steps in the long quest legalization of gambling in the state. However, with the federal government passing the PASPA (Professional Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which outlawed betting on sports, the sports betting industry stagnated for nearly two decades.
Up until today, its sports betting is not legal yet in Missouri, but plenty of attempts have been made to try and license and regulate retail and online sports betting. In January 2016, steps towards legalizing sports gambling were seen when representative Scott Fitzpatrick introduced an HB1941 bill to legalize Daily Fantasy Sports. This prompted lawmakers to consider issues like possible taxations surrounding Daily Fantasy Sports in the state.
Later that year in June, Governor Jay Nixon signed the Missouri Fantasy Sports Consumer Protection Act, HB1941 into the law. The bill allows the Missouri Gaming Commission to license and regulate the Daily Sports Football throughout the state. The required licensing fee was at $50k plus a tax rate of 11.5% of the gambling revenue.
2018 to Date
In February 2018, Bart Korman the HB2320, a bill that was meant to allow sports betting on academic and professional events. The bill would also allow licensed riverboat operators to offer the sports betting services, but on the condition that the PASPA is repealed.
In March the same year, another lawmaker, Senator Danny Hoskins, proposed an amendment of the SB767 so that sports betting is legal in the state. The bill only wanted to legalize Video Lottery Terminals, though the same senator later amended the bill aiming to allow riverboat casinos also to offer sports wagering services as well. This bill would furthermore enforce a 12% tax on gambling revenue on sports betting plus a license fee of $10000.
By December 2018, Hoskins pre-filed Senate Bill 44before the 2019 regular session so that riverboat casinos could regulate sports betting through interactive channels. The bill wanted licensed facilities to offer sports to players who are located within the state. The new SB44 would enforce a 12% gross tax and an extra 2% fee. For licensing, on the other hand, the bill proposed a licensing fee of $10000 with a $5000 yearly renewal fee.
In the same month, HB119 was pre-filled before the 2019 legislative session to legalize sports betting. HB119 proposed an integrity fee of 0.75% turnover for sports leagues and an extra 0.25% turnover, for all the bets placed on the Division one basketball and NCAA football. Operators were also required to pay an additional 6.25% gross win tax plus a $5 yearly fee for five years with a $10 payable at the end of that period.
In February the following year, SB44 was re-introduced by House representative Ross and amended it to include internet gambling services. This bill would allow both in-person betting on the licensed boats and also through interactive channels. The operators would have to spend $10000 on licensing fees plus yearly renewals of $5000 every year. The tax rate on operators would be capped at 12% of gross wins and an extra 2.5% administration fee. In each quarter, there would be an administration fee of 0.5% payable to the Missouri Gambling Commission.
As hard as the lawmakers pushed for the changes, it was all to no avail by the end of 2019. However, in preparation for 2020 legislative sessions, Senator Hoskins pre-filed another bill in December 2019, SB567 that permits the state’s riverboat casino to seek a retail sports betting license with a $25k fee and another $25k should the riverboat casino want to partner with an online betting provider to offer sports betting services. A 9% tax rate was set for this and another 0.25% in royalty tax levy was set here.
Still, in December 2019, Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer also filed his own bill, SB754 that dictated a licensing fee of $10k for retail sports betting on riverboats and $10k more for interactive sports betting. The tax rate in this bill was set at 6.25% with royalty fees directly paid to the league standing at 0.75%. These are the bills that will possibly determine Missouri’s sports betting landscape in 2020.
Which Form of Sports Betting is Legal in Missouri?
Technically, the only form of live sports betting that is legal right now in Missouri is horse racing but only when there is a live race in the state. However, given that there have been no race tracks in the state since the 90s, it, therefore, means that betting in horse races is only legal in a theoretical sense.
What About DFS?
Daily fantasy sports betting is legal on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings.
Highlights of Sports betting in Missouri
|Age Requirements||General required gambling age is set at 21 |
18 for DFS
|Regulatory Body||Missouri Gaming Commission|
|Taxation||11.5% for DFS|
|Sports Betting||Not Allowed|
|Online Sports Betting||Not Allowed|
What is the Future of Sports Betting in Missouri?
We are optimistic that Missouri’s future includes legal sports betting. In case you are wondering why there’s hope, the following are the most significant clues we have found to support our prediction:
- A vast population that loves sports
- Thriving riverboats casinos that are already operational
- Significant tax revenue to be collected from sports betting. These tax revenues will be used to fund various state programs
- The lawmakers are proposing many more sports bills
According to Senator Hoskins, the regulated sports betting industry in Missouri can generate a revenue of $18 million to $40 million for the state. This is a significant amount of state revenue that’s very hard to ignore. At the moment, all the money being generated from the state by the casino industry must only be spent on Educational programs. This means that it is very likely that revenue which will be generated from sports betting will go to improve the education sector.
Governor Mike Parson has not commented publicly on the matter, but according to his spokesperson, he is not opposed to legalizing sports betting in Missouri. The critical question that remains is, who will stand for regulating the sports betting industry if it is authorized? What comes to mind is the Missouri Gaming Commission because they seem like the obvious choice for this new industry.
Many thought that 2019 was going to be the year sports gambling gets legalized in Missouri, but it hasn’t been the case. The best-case scenario here is The Show-Me State starts to allow sports betting at Riverboat casinos by the end of 2020.