A Missouri sports betting bill is on its way to the Senate floor, but changes are coming.
The MO Senate Appropriations Committee advanced HB 2502 to the Senate floor, 8-1, Tuesday. The bill passed the House, 115-33, last month.
While the MO sports betting bill moved forward without debate, it is still “a work in progress,” said Sen. Dan Hegeman, the committee chairman. The Senate adjourns May 13.
Missouri sports betting bill changes coming
Since crossing into the Senate, the committee has considered the House bill’s 8% tax rate too low. Hegeman said the Senate will raise the tax rate on the floor.
The 8% tax was a symbolic move on the House floor, where an amendment passed so the rate would be lower than the proposed 10% in a Kansas sports betting bill. A final rate will likely be somewhere between the bill’s original 10% and 21%, which is the rate in a competing proposal by Sen. Denny Hoskins.
The Senate will also add more problem gambling language to the legislation. If it passes the full Senate, the House will need to concur with any changes made on the Senate floor.
Missouri sports betting proposal details
Rep. Dan Houx authored HB 2502, one of the multiple bills filed with a proposal backed by a coalition of Missouri sports teams and casinos, and sportsbook operators.
The legislation allows retail and mobile sports betting, including retail sportsbooks at Missouri’s 13 casinos. The language includes 39 mobile skins, including 33 for the casino operators and six for professional sports teams in Missouri.
“We’ve all gotten on the same page,” St. Louis Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III said at a House committee hearing earlier this year. “I believe it’s a fair compromise for all involved.”
Race to the finish in Missouri
Missouri legislators might be incentivized to finish up sports betting legislation before Monday, when the Kansas Senate returns from a three-week break. Legislators from both states have talked about the importance of legalizing sports betting before their neighbor.
The Kansas House advanced a conference committee deal late on the last day of the session before the break.
Senate President Ty Masterson told a local radio show that the bill will likely pass when the chamber returns April 25.