• If approved, HB 119 would be the first sports betting bill with an integrity fee attached.
  • HB 119 would implement a 1.1% tax on the handle.
  • The state also has two Senate sports betting bills moving through the legislature.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri sports betting efforts continued in the statehouse on Monday, as the House’s General Laws Committee approved HB119, a measure to establish sports wagering provisions.

Committee Chair, Representative Dean Plocher (D- St. Louis), explained how the committee took testimony into account that was offered from the professional leagues and the casinos.

“It does a few things that will probably annoy everybody. [But it] offers an avenue for sports gaming to be competitive in the United States.”

Plocher continued on stating that modifications to the bill still need to be made after continued discussions.

The Bill As It Stands

Filed by Representative Cody Smith (R- Carthage), HB 119 would permit sports wagering for those 21 and older on riverboat casinos, through both in person transactions and online wagering. However, the bill specifies that online wagering must be done on casino grounds only.

Licensees would be required to pay an application fee of $10,000 to offer sports wagering and another $5,000 every year to keep the license current.

The adjusted gross receipts of the sportsbooks would be taxed at 6.25%, which would be given to the Gaming Proceeds for Education Fund.

There would also be a prohibition on collegiate prop bet wagering or any wager on individual performances of a collegiate athlete.

But here is where it differs from legislation elsewhere around the country. The bill states that 0.6% of their handle, or the total money received from wagers, would be dedicated to a fund supporting the local stadiums’ renovations and construction plans.

We have seen books around the country lose money in certain months, such as February due to Super Bowl Sunday, which would make a tax on the handle nearly impossible to stay current with. Also, the stadiums are privately owned – a topic that has garnered much debate about funding options and costs around the country.

The bill also sets aside a tax on the handle to be given to the professional sports leagues and another tax on the handle to be given to the NCAA. At 0.25% for each, the total tax on the handle would reach 1.1%.

No other state with legal sports betting has accumulated a tax on the handle this high. Missouri would also be the first state to provide an integrity fee – or royalty tax – to the sports leagues.

This bill has much discussion still to be had before it is approved by the House, sent to the Senate for discussion, and possibly onto Governor Mike Parson’s desk for the final approval.

Also moving in the Missouri legislature, are sports betting bills SB44 and SB222. They were slated to be perfected on Monday and are expected to be voted on in the Senate chambers within the next two weeks.

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