Sports betting is not legal in the state of Missouri.
There has certainly been interest among legislators to get a sports betting legislation passed since the Supreme Court overruled PAPSA in 2018. As a result, multiple bills have been proposed each year since including at least seven in 2021.
During the 2021 legislative session, there was hope when Senate Bill 18 started to make progress, but it quickly stalled. SB 98 looked like it had a lot of promise, but a referendum clause added to the bill led to its downfall.
It never made it out of the Senate, however, legislators will likely try again in 2022.
Senate Bill 98 would have approved retail sports betting on the riverboat casinos in Missouri. It also would have tethered online sportsbooks. Unfortunately, neither provision is what has led to the impasse that dooms every attempt to approve legislation.
So, it is likely future bills will contain similar provisions.
Role Of The Lottery
Missouri does have a state lottery, but there is no reason to believe it will be involved in a future sports betting industry in the state.
Professional Sports Team Involvement
There are several professional sports teams in Missouri, but there is no reason to believe any of them will be involved in the sports betting industry once it becomes legal and launches in-state. However, most, if not all, will likely enter into partnership arrangements once sports betting gets legalized.
Senate Bill 98 called for a $25,000 application fee for riverboat casinos interested in a retail sports betting license. Another $25,000 would be needed for an interactive sports wagering platform (i.e., mobile/online) which would also mandate a $50,000 annual fee. Adjusted gross revenue would have been taxed at a rate of 21 percent.
Other failed proposals called for similar fee structures for licenses and renewals, but their tax rates were much lower, ranging from six to nine percent. Two Senate Bills would have mandated sports leagues get paid a royalty fee. One would have required a .75 percent royalty and the other .25.
Expected Live Date
Missouri legislators appear to be struggling to get on the same page. With many states around Missouri having already legalized sports betting, they can see revenue leaving the state. While the approval of retail sports betting and mobile/online sports betting does not seem to be the major sticking point, power struggles over other things keep killing legislation.
One of the primary issues in 2021 had to do with video gaming terminals. Until legislators can decide to just focus on retail and mobile/online sports betting or come to a compromise over video terminals, sports betting will remain illegal in Missouri.
Had legislation been approved in 2021, sports betting was not expected to launch until 2023. So, at the earliest, it looks like sports betting could launch in 2024; but with how the legislature has struggled regarding sports betting, do not count on it.
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