Missouri could be one of the states that will be a part of the next wave to legalize sports betting. The Show-Me State has a number of sports betting bills currently in its legislature with one making a little more progress than the rest at this point. House Bill 2318 and House Bill 2284 both had a hearing yesterday to basically introduce the two bills. Another bill, House Bill 2088, was introduced about three weeks prior than the two previous bills and therefore has a bit of a head start.
HB 2318 and HB 2284 are fairly similar bills with one of the biggest differences being their respective tax rates. The tax rate for HB 2318 would be set at 6.75% on gross revenue while HB 2284 would impose a tax rate of 9%. Another key difference is that HB 2284 requires the use of official league data. HB 2088 is the bill that is a couple of steps ahead of the previous two and it holds the same tax percentage as HB 2284, 9%.
A group of lobbyists from some professional sports teams and leagues spoke in a House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday. There were lobbyists from the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, Kansas City Chiefs and even the NBA and PGA Tour there to show their support for legalized sports betting.
Until sports betting is legalized in Missouri, residents will have to travel to neighboring states if they want to place legal wagers. Iowa to the north and Arkansas to the south already have legal sports betting operational. Tennessee to the southeast and Illinois to the east are expected to launch sports betting in the coming months.
The Senate is having a hearing today (Wednesday) that will cover some of these bills. The legislative session in Missouri ends on May 15th, giving the state about two and a half months to get some form of sports betting legalized this session. According to the Missouri Gaming Commission, legalized sports betting could bring in an estimated four to nine million dollars in tax revenue.