Missouri State Capitol Building.

  • Missouri sports betting bill HB 119 was introduced in the legislature earlier this year, but it included fees to be paid to sports leagues.
  • Industry experts spoke to MO lawmakers and encouraged mobile betting, live betting, and no integrity fees.
  • Gambling experts believe that $289 million dollars could be wagered in Missouri once the state’s sports betting market is fully established.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – With 2019 coming to a close, Missouri lawmakers are starting to look ahead to the 2020 legislative session. On Thursday, members of the Special Interim Committee on Gaming conducted a hearing where testimonies from various gaming companies and experts were on display.

Those in attendance for the hearing included FanDuel, DraftKings, Boyd Gaming, Penn National Gaming, William Hill, and Chris Krafcik of Eilers & Krejcik. Each party gave their own perspective into how legal Missouri sports betting should look, but there were commonalities.

The first aspect that each stakeholder could agree upon was the need for statewide mobile sports betting. They also argued in favor of having the ability to register for those online or mobile accounts remotely.

According to Chis Krafcik’s testimony, a fully mature sports betting market in Missouri with both land-based and remote registration mobile sports betting apps could generate millions more than lawmakers previously estimated.

“In this scenario, Missouri’s legal sports betting industry would generate approximately $289 million in revenue,” said Krafcik.

The second aspect that each gaming company could agree on was the elimination of any “integrity fees” or royalties paid to professional sports leagues.

During the last legislative session, integrity fees were added to MO HB 119. The amendments included a 0.25% fee of the total handle to be paid to professional sports leagues and the state’s collegiate teams. There was also a 0.6% fee to fund the state’s professional sports stadiums.

Legal sports betting operators usually only keep about 5% of the total handle. This is why they have long argued against a mandate to pay a royalty of any kind to the sports leagues, as that would make running a sportsbook unsustainable and would push sports bettors to offshore options.

The Committee will conduct more hearings and hear arguments from other stakeholders before the 2020 legislative session starts. The next committee meeting is set for November 7 where members will hear testimonies from the MLB.

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