• Two new sports betting bills, MO HB 2318 and MO HB 2284 went before the Committee today.
  • While each bill is very similar, they differ in tax rates and league involvement.
  • A third bill, MO HB 2088 is progressing much more than these two bills have thus far.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Special Committee of Government Oversight heard bills MO HB 2318 and MO HB 2284 that would each make sports betting legal in Missouri.

Both bills are very similar and each sponsor got the chance to speak on their individual bills. The meeting was simply to allow Committee members an introduction to MO HB 2318 and MO HB 2284.

What The Bills Offer

Each bill has an endgame of sports betting becoming legal in Missouri. MO HB 2318 is a bill sponsored by Representative Phil Christofanelli (R). This bill would allow riverboat casinos in Missouri, as well as internet sports, betting platforms for wagers on sporting events of both professional and collegiate leagues.

Bill MO HB 2284 is sponsored by Representative Cody Smith (R).  While offering similar sports betting approaches, the tax rates are different between the two as well as Smith’s bill requiring official league data be used by sportsbooks.

The Introductions

During the introductions for the bills legalizing Missouri sports betting, both sponsors read what each entailed. Rep. Christofanelli received more time to discuss MO HB 2318. This bill would have a tax rate of 6.75% on all gross revenue from the sports betting market.

There would be an initial application fee of $50,000 for operators that wish to run sportsbooks. After that, a $20,000 annual renewal fee would take place.

Mobile sports wagering accounts would need to be created in person at a retail sportsbook before they could be used. No marketing to people under the age of 18 would be allowed through this bill.

Official league data is not a requirement for sportsbooks as Christonfanelli believes that the casinos and leagues can negotiate amongst themselves in the free market rather than be obligated to work with one another.

“Legalizing sports betting is a common-sense issue. Constituents find it confusing that they can bet their life savings on Blackjack but not on sports games,” said Christofanelli.

Bill MO HB 2284, Representative Smith’s bill, requires a higher tax rate of 9% and the use of official league data. Many people in the room agreed with official league data being a requirement for sports betting legalization.

The higher tax rate Smith assured would be on par with other states that have made gambling on sporting matches legal. Bill MO HB 2088, another sports betting bill in Missouri, has the same tax rate requirement.

When the issue of there being concern over mobile sports betting, both Sponsors were in agreement.

“People are participating in sports betting from their couches already. This will bring it into the light in a more regulated way and help fund the state and a program for compulsive gambling,” said Christofanelli.

The Endgame

Both bills seemed to do okay in front of the Committee. There was a split as to how many people seemed in favor or opposed to legalizing sports betting in Missouri.

The third bill that would make the wagering on sports matchups legal, MO HB 2088, is the one that is making its way through the House while these two are just getting started. Any decisions made by the legislature need to be made by May 15 when the session officially ends.

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