Last updated: May 18, 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.
A special committee convened in February to hear two identical House bills proposing retail sportsbooks at the 13 casinos in the state and up to 39 online sports betting skins. With a strong coalition of sports teams and casinos behind the legislation, bill sponsors were hopeful it could get to the finish line in 2022.
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
- May 13, 2022 — The Missouri Senate did not pass any sports betting legislation before the 2022 legislative session expired. While the year’s effort showed promise, Missouri bettors will be without legal options for at least another year.
- May 12, 2022 — As Missouri legalization efforts stall out near deadline day, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly signs sports betting into law. The two states were racing during the legislative session to see which could legalize sports betting first.
- May 11, 2022 — Sources tell LSR the Missouri sports betting legalization effort in 2022 is in a precarious situation. With two days left before the session ends, conversations continue but the various parties remain at odds.
- May 3, 2022 — Senators heard sports betting bills two straight Wednesdays, with both ending up filibustered and seeing no vote. Sen. Denny Hoskins and Rep. Dan Houx are working through potential deals to finish sports betting before the session ends next week.
- April 19, 2022 — The Senate Appropriations Committee advanced HB 2502 to the Senate floor without debate. Committee Chair Sen. Dan Hegeman said there will be amendments on the chamber floor.
- April 18, 2022 — Rep. Dan Houx hopes his sports betting bill will move out of its Senate committee this week. Senate Republican Leader Caleb Rowden hopes the Senate will discuss the bill as well.
- April 6, 2022 — The Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing on the sports betting bill that cleared the House in March. The committee did not vote but heard from a variety of proponents.
- March 30, 2022 — With Missouri and Kansas lawmakers exchanging jabs, the legislators in Kansas took the lead in a race for sports betting when the KS House advanced SB 84. The bill now goes to a conference committee to hammer out the differences.
- March 24, 2022 — The Missouri House passed HB 2502 on to the Senate. The bill’s tax rate was lowered from 10% to 8% and will now join several other sports betting bills in the Senate.
- March 21, 2022 — The House resumes its duties following a week off for spring break, while the Senate takes its break. The House bill still appears to be the vehicle moving discussions forward.
- March 15, 2022 — The Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee discussed three bills. While the committee did not take action on the bills, the House advanced HB 2502 to the floor. Rep. Dan Houx expects it will be taken up shortly after the spring break recess.
- Feb. 23, 2022 — The casino/sports team consortium throws its support behind a pair of bills under consideration by the Missouri House Special Committee on Public Policy. The group’s financial and political support might be what’s necessary to move HB 2502 and HB 2556 along in the process. The only casino company holdout from the group is Boyd Gaming, which continues to object to the bills’ official league data mandates.
- Feb. 10, 2022 — A prominent gambling advocate in the Missouri General Assembly agrees to separate video lottery terminals from sports betting in his proposed legislation. State Rep. Denny Hoskins continues to support the introduction of VLTs but has agreed to remove them as an issue after conversations with other sports betting proponents.
- Jan. 26, 2022 — Sports teams and casinos in Missouri partner to push for sports betting in the state. The effort will focus on sports betting only. Past bills to legalize sports betting in Missouri had failed because they included provisions for video lottery terminals, too. The group hopes the concerted effort on sports betting alone will be more successful.
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.