A bill that would permit sports betting in Missouri has been introduced in the state house as the current legislative session begins.
House Bill 581 was sponsored and introduced on 4 January 2023. It was sponsored by representative Phil Christofanelli.
If passed, the bill would repeal three sections of the current law and enact seventeen new ones related to sports gambling.
The bill would enable land-based casinos to offer sports betting as well as to partner with suppliers to offer sports gambling online.
Number of sports betting operators in Missouri
Each land-based casino can partner up with three online sports gambling brands , with a limit of six online partners for companies that own multiple casinos.
The proposed amendments would also allow Missouri-based sports teams to partner with a digital sports gambling provider to launch an online service. Sports teams to qualify must play in the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, MLS, WNBA or NWSL.
The state has multiple sports teams that would meet the requirements, including Kansas City Chiefs, St Louis Blues, St Louis Cardinals and St Louis City SC.
Operators would need to gain a licence to offer sports gambling in the state and pay an application fee of $100,000 (£83,000/€94,000) as well as an annual renewal fee of $50,000. Upon applying for a licence, operators must submit a responsible gambling plan.
Suppliers will also need to apply for a licence for online sports gambling where they need to pay $150,000 and submit a responsible gambling plan. An annual renewal fee of $125,000 is also required from licensed suppliers.
A sports wagering supplier is defined as anyone that provides “goods, services, software, or any other components necessary for the creation of sports wagering markets and determination of wager outcomes, directly or indirectly, to any sports wagering operator”. The bill did not clarify whether affiliates would be required to apply for supplier licences.
Licensees will also face a tax of 10% on revenue minus exceptions for promotions.
Another $10,000 will have to be paid for the costs of a full reinvestigation of licensees in the fourth year after receiving a licence.
The Missouri Gaming Commission will provide $500,000 annually to a compulsive gamblers fund and will be re-assessed annually to potentially raise the figure.
Past attempts to pass sports betting law
This is not the first time that Missouri has tried to pass a sports betting law. In February 2022 a similar bill was introduced in the State House.
House Bill 2752, sponsored by representative Dave Griffith, suffered delays and was referred to the Special Committee on Public Policy on 13 May.
Ultimately, though, it was unable to be passed before the legislative session ended on the same day as no committee hearing was held.