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 Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Tennessee and Arkansas.

There are legal sportsbooks located a short drive from downtown St. Louis and Kansas City in East St. Louis, Illinois and Kansas City, Kansas.

What’s happening in Missouri sports betting right now

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 by legal states as five of the eight states bordering Missouri are legal and one, Nebraska, has passed legislation. The only neighbors that do not not allow sports betting are Oklahoma and Kentucky. With Legal Kansas sports betting launching in 2022, Missouri’s two largest cities now 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:

Latest 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:

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.

NHL betting in Missouri

A single representative from the NHL calls Missouri home, and it recently brought the state its first Stanley Cup.

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:

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

2022

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.

2021

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.

2020

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.

Two other bills advanced with committee votes, Rep. Cody Smith’s H 2284 and Rep. Phil Christofanelli’s H 2318.

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.

2019

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.

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.

2018

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.

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