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Can Missouri get a sports betting bill passed in 2020?

  • The Missouri House Special Interim Committee on Gaming conducted five separate hearings from August to November.
  • The Committee heard testimonies from various stakeholders in the potential MO sports betting industry such as the MLB and casino officials.
  • Several Missouri sports betting bills were introduced in 2019, including two that have been pre-filed for 2020.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The possibility of Missouri legalizing sports betting in 2020 seems more and more likely by the day.

Earlier this week, the Missouri House Special Interim Committee on Gaming completed its report on the state’s gaming environment. The committee met with different stakeholders from the sports betting industry between the months of August and November to discuss how the industry would work in Missouri.

Lawmakers heard testimonies from companies such as FanDuel and DraftKings as well as testimonies from the MLB, NBA, and PGA. While those stakeholders had different views on how sports betting should work in the Show-Me State, one thing is for certain. Missouri legislators do not want to miss out on the tax revenue the activity can bring in.

Potential sports betting operators and sports leagues agree that Missourians are expected to bet millions if not billions annually on sports.

During an October hearing with the committee, Chris Krafcik of Eilers & Krejcik estimated that a fully established sports betting industry in Missouri could generate $289 million annually in revenue.

In a November hearing, Jeremy Kudon, a representative of the MLB estimated that the state’s sports betting handle could reach $5.5 billion each year. Under that estimation, sportsbooks in Missouri would make $376 million and contribute $37 million on a yearly basis in taxes.

What Did Lawmakers Conclude About MO Sports Betting?

According to the report, “The committee views the legalization of sports betting as a legitimate opportunity to increase state revenues and to direct such revenues in a manner similar to the Missouri Lottery and casino gaming so that the bulk will help to fund education.”

“By 2020, 18 states will have implemented such gaming and Missouri would likely lose revenue if it does not remain competitive with the other states.”

The report also went on to signify how the committee members felt about the potential for mobile sports betting in Missouri. While there is a definitive interest in this type of offering, the agency that would be in charge of administering it is still in question.

The Missouri Lottery, the Missouri Gaming Commission, or even a third-party commission are all possible regulatory agencies for sports betting at this point.

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