Last updated: October 3, 2022
The 2022 effort to get legal Missouri sports betting off the ground fell just short of achieving its goal.
The Missouri General Assembly had roughly half a dozen active sports betting bills in the early part of 2022, with one piece of legislation clearing the House and reaching the Senate floor. In the end, a compromise could not be reached before the General Assembly adjourned for the year.
Rep. Dan Houx will lead another effort in 2023, telling LSR the only bill he expects to file next session is a sports betting bill.
There are plenty of reasons for Missourians to have hope for sports betting sometime in the next year or so. Here’s what we know about efforts to legalize sports betting in Missouri.
What’s happening in Missouri sports betting right now
- September 19, 2022 — Rep. Dan Houx tells local media he hopes a sports betting bill can be included in a special session. Missouri residents attempted to access Kansas sportsbooks more than 340,000 since the neighboring state launched sports betting Sept. 1.
- September 12, 2022 — Missouri sports bettors are still envious of Kansas sports betting. In the first week of sports betting in Kansas, GeoComply blocked more than 104,000 attempts by Missourians attempting to access Kansas sportsbooks.
- September 1, 2022 — More than 16,000 Missouri residents tried to access Kansas sports betting apps during the first eight hours of KS sports betting. Approximately 60% of those attempts came from Kansas City, MO.
- September 1, 2022 — Kansas sports betting launched with six online operators at the starting line. BetMGM, meanwhile, signed a deal to become an official sports betting partner of the Kansas City Chiefs.
- August 19, 2022 — The Kansas Lottery announced it plans to soft-launch sports betting Sept. 1 with a full launch by Sept. 8. The Kansas Attorney General‘s Office did find some small issues with the rules draft, but the Lottery expects to have it sorted out by September.
- August 12, 2022 — Kansas regulators approved the rules for sports betting, keeping the hopes for a Sept. 8 potential launch alive. Kansas City, MO., Mayor Quinton Lucas retweeted a reporter at the commission meeting about his displeasure that Missouri does not have sports betting.
- August 9, 2022 — Kansas sportsbooks begin to offer pre-launch deals for customers ahead of the state opening for online sports betting this fall. Plenty of Missouri bettors will likely take advantage of the promotions.
- August 1, 2022 — The Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission plans to hear draft guidelines for the Kansas sports betting market at the August 12 meeting. Regulators are pushing to get Missouri‘s neighbor live by the start of the NFL season.
- July 19, 2022 — Neighboring Iowa continues to add to its betting menu options as Missouri contemplates legalization. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved a request to allow bets on the American Cornhole League, as well as the coin toss before football games.
- July 17, 2022 — The Consumer Choice Center authored a new report about sports betting policy and encourages Missouri to legalize sports betting. The organization argues it is key to stopping illegal bets in the state.
- July 12, 2022 — Sen. Denny Hoskins told LSR sports betting could be in a good position when the next legislative session starts in January 2023. He said the legislative landscape could change to open a pathway to legalization.
- July 1, 2022 — The Kansas sports betting law went into effect July 1. Casinos in the state hope to have sports betting up and running for the NFL season, so Missouri bettors can plan to cross the border for legal wagers.
- June 20, 2022 — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly hosts a ceremonial signing of the Kansas sports betting bill. During the event, Kelly said she hopes regulators can launch KS sports betting before the NFL season, beating the Jan. 1 deadline.
- June 15, 2022 — Multiple Missouri lawmakers are already working on potential MO sports betting legislation for the 2023 session, according to Fox 2 Now. Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden said, “you’re going to have unfinished business,” in regards to the issue not passing in 2022.
Is sports betting legal in Missouri?
No. There are no legal sportsbooks in Missouri at this time. The nearest places to make a bet are in Iowa, Illinois, Tennessee and Arkansas. Kansas regulators are now working on the rules after Gov. Laura Kelly signed mobile sports betting into law.
If you prefer to wager in person, the nearest location to Missouri is at DraftKings at Casino Queen in East St. Louis, just across the river from St. Louis in Illinois. Otherwise, you only need to cross the border into one of those states to get started.
Status of Missouri sports betting
Missouri continues to debate whether to make sports betting legal. At this point, based upon the activity in the Legislature and the prominent supporters of legalization in the state including casinos and teams, it’s probably more a question of when the Show-Me State will legalize sports betting, rather than if it will.
There is some external pressure, however. Missouri is surrounded to the north, east and south by legal sports betting states. The only neighbor in one of those three directions that does not allow sports betting is Kentucky. Missouri is also gaining a sports betting destination to the immediate west, as legalization in Kansas passed legislation in 2022. Legal Kansas sports betting means that the state’s two largest cities would have sportsbooks within easy driving distance.
When will online sports betting launch in Missouri?
Likely no earlier than 2024. Barring some big moves on the part of lawmakers, regulators and operators, there is no way that online sports betting could launch in Missouri before then.
Sportsbook apps that could launch in Missouri
The bills under consideration in Missouri right now would allow for plenty of sports betting apps to launch. The state’s 13 casinos could have as many as three skins each, and certain sports teams could also partner with a sportsbook app, as well.
In all, there could be provisions for more than 40 apps to launch, although it’s not clear whether the actual number that Missouri can support is that high. Nevertheless, here are some of the online sportsbooks that we see as most likely to appear if the state decides to legalize online sports betting:
- FanDuel Sportsbook — FanDuel is already active in the state as a daily fantasy sports provider and has a market access deal with Boyd Gaming, which owns two casinos in Missouri. FanDuel is often quick to appear in new legal sports betting areas.
- DraftKings Sportsbook — DraftKings is a fixture in Missouri due to its DFS options. It also operates the closest land-based sportsbook to Missouri — DraftKings at Casino Queen in East St. Louis, Illinois. DraftKings is quite proactive about new launches and will almost certainly find a way to the table in Missouri.
- Caesars Sportsbook — In addition to online sports betting, Caesars has numerous physical casinos across the world. In fact, three casinos in Missouri are Caesars properties, providing a clear path for the sportsbook to enter the market in the Show-Me State.
- Barstool Sportsbook — Barstool operates Penn National Gaming’s online sports betting interests. Although Barstool’s reputation is a bit on the brash side, Penn National nonetheless owns three properties in the state, meaning Barstool will likely be part of legal sports betting in Missouri.
- Bally Bet — Bally Bet is a newer sportsbook that offers service from one of the best-known brand names in all of gambling. Bally’s recently purchased the Casino KC and rebranded it as Bally’s Kansas City. Undoubtedly, a Bally Bet app launch is part of the company’s long-term plans in Missouri.
- BetMGM Sportsbook — BetMGM is one of the top sportsbook apps in the United States. MGM has partnership deals with both MLB and the NFL, meaning that it will likely have options to access Missouri’s sports betting market if it goes live.
- BetRivers Sportsbook — BetRivers is the online arm of regional casino giant Rush Street Gaming. The company is based in nearby Illinois and will likely find a way to be part of the expansion one state over from its home base.
Recent Missouri sports betting news
Legal sports betting options in Missouri
There are currently no legal sports betting options in Missouri. The state legalized betting on horse races in 1984, but only at racetracks. There are no racetracks in Missouri, so there is no legal betting on horses.
There are illegal offshore websites that offer sports betting in Missouri. They do not hold a license from any US jurisdiction to legally accept bets from residents. Without regulation from the state, these offshore betting apps can’t be counted on to pay out winnings and have been known to disappear with people’s money.
The safest and most protected way to bet on sports in the United States is to do so with a licensed operator.
Most popular sports to bet on in Missouri
Missouri is home to several professional sports organizations. There are representatives of almost every major sports league in the Show-Me State. In some cases, there are two. Whenever Missouri legalizes sports betting, these teams will be hot tickets.
NFL betting in Missouri
The story of the NFL in Missouri is very much a tale of two cities. Kansas City is home to one of the current top teams in the league. Meanwhile, St. Louis has had not one, but two NFL teams leave the city. The bottom line is that there is only a single Missouri NFL team right now:
- Kansas City Chiefs: Arrowhead Stadium, 1 Arrowhead Drive, Kansas City, MO 64129
MLB betting in Missouri
Both of Missouri’s two major cities are home to a Major League Baseball team. Both have experienced success in the past two decades, with World Series rings in both camps.
- Kansas City Royals: Kauffman Stadium, 1 Royal Way, Kansas City, MO 64129
- St. Louis Cardinals: Busch Stadium, 700 Clark Ave., St. Louis, MO 63102
NHL betting in Missouri
A single representative from the NHL calls Missouri home, and it recently brought the state its first Stanley Cup.
- St. Louis Blues: Enterprise Center, 1401 Clark Ave., St. Louis, MO 63103
NBA betting in Missouri
The lone exception to the presence of major professional sports leagues in Missouri is the NBA. Since the Kansas City Kings left in the mid-1980s, the Show-Me State has been without an NBA representative.
For whatever reason, professional basketball has had difficulty staying afloat in Missouri. Before the Kings, Missourians also witnessed the end of both the NBA’s St. Louis Bombers and the ABA’s Spirits of St. Louis, along with the arrival of the St. Louis Hawks and then their departure to Atlanta.
NCAA betting in Missouri
Missouri is home to several large universities. Of course, the largest and best-known college in the state is the University of Missouri in Columbia. The Tigers have experienced success in multiple sports. However, there are several other Division I universities in Missouri, and many of them figure to be popular options if the Show-Me State allows sports betting:
- Missouri State University
- Saint Louis University
- Southeast Missouri State University
- University of Missouri-Kansas City
The unknown factor for college sports betting in Missouri is how many activities the law and/or the Missouri Gaming Commission will allow as options for Missouri sports bettors. In-state colleges are frequent subjects of restrictions from lawmakers and gambling commissions in other states. Bettors sometimes cannot place certain types of wagers or bet on in-state schools at all.
So although games featuring the schools above would be popular choices, it’s not yet clear whether they will be legal options.
Missouri and daily fantasy sports
Daily fantasy sports contests are legal under Missouri state law. In fact, the Missouri Fantasy Consumer Protection Act of 2016 established a licensing format for any legitimate DFS providers to operate as normal vendors in the Show-Me State. FanDuel, DraftKings and six other DFS companies are in good standing with the Missouri government to do business in the state.
Is horse racing legal in Missouri?
Yes, technically, but no racing currently operates in Missouri. Although the state legalized horse racing and horse betting in 1984, no developers ever found the details appealing enough to open a track.
One problem is the law only permits simulcast wagering on days tracks hold live races.
There have been several efforts in the legislature over the years to attract investors in opening a track by changing the law to allow simulcast betting throughout the year and allow casino games at racetracks, but the efforts were unsuccessful.
Although horse betting theoretically is legal in Missouri at a racetrack, it is not legal to bet on races from around the country on online platforms.
Missouri sports betting timeline
There was a renewed sense of hope in 2022 for Missouri online sports betting. A proposal from a coalition back by the state’s professional sports teams, casinos and national sportsbook operators had steam.
Legislation containing the proposal passed the House and advanced to the Senate floor. In the Senate chamber, however, the proposal was filibustered by the author of a competing bill.
While three alternate proposals were presented to the coalition, the casino did not agree to the new compromises. The Senate adjourned for the year without acting on a sports betting bill, leaving legalization hopes to future years.
While there was momentum from previous years’ efforts, Missouri sports betting legislation failed to gain too much traction in 2021. A main bill legalizing sports betting fell to the side without casino support as it was tied to video lottery terminal regulation.
Despite the progress made in the special committee at the end of 2019, Missouri legislators introduced six bills in 2020 and most had the same problems as old bills.
Even after what Rep. Dan Shaul said in the special committee, he introduced a bill with both an integrity fee and official league data. That bill, which also included the video lottery terminals and allowing the lottery to offer games based on the outcomes of sporting events, quickly advanced to the House floor.
Both their bills limited MS sports betting to riverboat casinos, permitting online platforms to tether with the casinos. In the committee, Smith removed the integrity fee from his bill, leaving the official league data mandate.
Christofanelli’s bill didn’t include an integrity fee or data mandate and kept the tax rate to 6.75%, the same as Nevada.
With three bills primed for the House floor entering March, it appeared Missouri was ready to move on sports betting. Then the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the session. When lawmakers went back to work, sports betting was not a focus.
After three legislative sessions, the Show-Me State seems to better grasp the best practices for sports betting legislation. We’ll see if lawmakers take what they have learned into 2021.
Missouri took momentum into 2019 as one of the few states that began exploring sports betting in 2018.
But it’s probably for the best that Missouri didn’t join the other nine states to legalize sports betting in 2019.
A MS sports betting bill passed by the House General Laws Committee was like a dream to sports leagues. Not only would it have given them their ask of an official league data mandate but also its old ask of a 0.25% integrity fee plus an additional 0.6% of handle to fund maintenance upkeep at Missouri sports facilities.
A Special Interim Committee on Gaming convened in October seemed to have a better understanding of what was needed in a bill for the sportsbook operators in the state to put out a competitive product.
Chairman Shaul recapped the three-hour meeting by saying all in attendance wanted mobile MO sports betting without in-person registration, no limits on markets or teams, and no integrity fee or official league data mandate.
The first MO sports betting bills appeared in 2018. Even then, there was a lot of interest but not a lot of agreement on how to conduct sports betting.
In preparation for the US Supreme Court overturning PASPA, Missouri legislators introduced six sports betting bills.
Each of them directed the Missouri Gaming Commission to promulgate sports betting regulations in the event that federal prohibitions go away.
Missouri sports betting FAQ
Who would oversee sports betting in Missouri?
The Missouri Gaming Commission. The MGC oversees all gambling in the state — even charitable gaming — except for the lottery. It is the natural regulator for any new gambling in Missouri, including sports betting, and many of the bills under consideration explicitly name it as the oversight agency. It’s possible that the lottery commission might end up in charge of regulation, but it is clearly the less likely of the two options.
Will I be able to bet online in Missouri?
Likely yes. The most prominent measures under consideration allow for online and retail sports betting. Barring some unforeseen changes during the amendment process, Missourians will be able to bet online. Given the examples that Missouri lawmakers have observed in both Iowa and Illinois with initial in-person registration requirements muting revenue, it’s unlikely that any legislator will want to restrict online sports betting with tethering.
Who will be able to bet on sports in Missouri?
You’ll need to be 21 or older. The existing gambling options in the state have already established a precedent for players to be over the drinking age, and the active measures in the Missouri General Assembly each identify eligible players as people over the age of 21.
There are some sports betting websites that say they accept bets from the United States. Are those legal options?
No. There are currently no sportsbook operators that are licensed at the federal level, which means all US sportsbooks are licensed at the state level. Any website that suggests betting from anywhere in the US is allowed is a website that operators offshore. It is not legal for those sites to accept bets from US citizens and those sites offer no protection to those who bet on them.