MO bills, mo problems
Legal Sports Report

Show-Me The Best And Worst Of Six Missouri Sports Betting Bills

Missouri sports betting

If you want a state to show you lots of sports wagering bills, head to the Show-Me State where Missouri sports betting has life.

A day after one piece of sports betting legislation became the first to advance through a Missouri committee, a sixth MO sports betting bill was introduced in the state legislature.

Rep. Phil Christofanelli sponsored H 2318 to allow sports wagering at riverboat casinos in Missouri, and online through interactive wagering platforms tethered to the excursion gambling boat licensee.

The bill got a second reading Thursday, which already makes it further along than two sports wagering proposals in the state.

A look at new Missouri sports betting bill

So, was there a need for another bill for sports betting in Missouri?

Well, this just might be the best of the bunch. Christofanelli’s bill offers, by far, the friendliest terms for the industry.

Details of the bill include:

  • No requirement to use official league data and no royalty to professional sports leagues. It’s the only one of the five detailed Missouri bills not to have either. One even calls for a whopping 0.75% integrity fee on handle.
  • An allowance for multiple skins, up to three individually branded interactive sports wagering platforms per licensee.
  • A 6.75% tax rate on adjusted gross revenue. By far, the lowest of the Missouri bills when taking into account the lack of a percentage going to the leagues.
  • Initial application fee $50,000, an annual administration fee of $20,000 with an extra $10,000 every five years to cover a more thorough investigation. Interactive sports wagering platform license application fee of an additional $50,000 with an annual renewal of $20,000.
  • The commission may enter into agreements with other jurisdictions to facilitate, administer and regulate multijurisdictional sports betting with the United States if consistent with federal law.
  • Advertising for sports wagering does not target minors, problem gamblers or other vulnerable persons.

League-favorite bill heads to Missouri House floor

Of the 20 states with legal sports betting in the US, not one has given leagues an integrity fee on wagers.

Rep. Dan Shaul’s H 2088, which passed through the House Special Committee on Government Oversight on Tuesday, is the dream bill of professional sports leagues. It doubles up on payments to the leagues by adding a mandate that operators buy official league data for in-play wagers on top of an integrity fee.

Their inclusion is particularly perplexing when Shaul recapped a three-hour hearing he chaired in October by noting that all in attendance advocated for no integrity fee or official league data mandate.

Shaul’s bill, which also allows the Missouri Lottery Commission to implement a system of video lottery game terminals, permits the lottery to offer games based on the outcomes of sporting events.

Before advancing, the bill was amended to permit sports wagering and VLTs at “entertainment districts.” Shaul named two entertainment districts as Ballpark Village, the dining and entertainment area surrounding Busch Stadium, where the St. Louis Cardinals play, and the Kansas City Power & Light District adjacent to Sprint Center.

Matthew Kredell
- Matthew started his career as a sportswriter at the Los Angeles Daily News, where he covered the NFL, Kobe-Shaq three-peat, Pete Carroll’s USC football teams, USC basketball, pro tennis, Kings hockey and fulfilled his childhood dream of sitting in the Dodgers’ dugout. His reporting on efforts to legalize sports betting began in 2010, when Playboy Magazine flew him to Prague to hang out with online sportsbook pioneer Calvin Ayre and show how the NFL was pushing US money overseas by fighting expansion of regulated sports betting across the country. A USC journalism alum, Matt also has written on a variety of topics for Men’s Journal, Los Angeles magazine, LA Weekly and ESPN.com.
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