Missouri Senate fails to pass sports betting bill despite support from pro sports teams

Thursday evening, the Missouri State Senate voted to adjourn its 2022 session a day early without adopting a sports betting bill, ending hopes of legalizing sports gambling this year.

House Bill 2502 was first introduced in January by Rep. Dan Holly (R-Warrensburg) and was to have a 10% government tax in its early stages. -comparatively lower than the 21% in-state gaming discount-; while House Bill 2556 contained provisions on the bill and was attached to 2502.

The bill passed the House without much opposition, but began to face adjustments in the Senateleading to more debate. He also faced competition from a different proposal tabled by Senator Denny Hoskins. (R-Warrensburg), which sought to raise the tax rate to 21%.

Hoskins was described as filibustering HB 2502 on the Senate floor during a lengthy debatereports KOMUas he did not like that the legislation passed by the House did not include a provision to regulate video game terminals (VLTs), which are currently illegal in the state.

While the Missouri Constitution provided Friday will be the last day of the session to act on the bills, however, the upper house ended its 2022 session early. According to local media, this was due to a controversial vote on a congressional redistricting plan. This provision also states that any invoice “outstanding on schedule” at 6:00 p.m. CT on the first Friday after the second Monday in May is automatically deposited for the rest of the session.

Thursday afternoon, Hoskins returned to social media to blame state casinos for sports betting that didn’t pass the session. He added that Majority Caucus Chairman Dan Hegeman (R-Cosby) would only allow a vote if all parties were in agreement.

It’s interesting with all the major sports or professional sports teams in the state that support the bill, that they haven’t had a bit more success lobbying the Senate to move the bill forward,” said Mike Leara, chairman of the Missouri Gaming Commission, according to the quoted source.

House Bill 2502 would have allowed both physical sports betting and online sports betting apps to operate in Missouri. With the exception of an annual allocation of $500,000 to a state-run problem gambling fund, tax proceeds would have gone to fund education.

The law project reportedly opened up to 39 mobile sports betting licenses for the state’s 13 casinos -which could also have launched ground operations- and six professional teams. According to Missouri Gaming Commission estimates, projections initially started at around $9 million per year, “a conservative number.”


State Sen. Denny Hoskins

With the Kansas bill taking effect last week on Tuesday, Missouri is now surrounded by sports betting states. Six of Missouri’s eight border states will have legalized sports betting soon or already in place, including Kansas and Nebraska, which have passed legislation but have not yet enacted regulations.

Kentuckywhere a sports betting bill died on the last day of its legislative session last month, and Oklahoma are the only states bordering Missouri that do not allow sports betting. Show Me State sports game enthusiasts will now have to wait until next year for another shot at joining these jurisdictions with a legal market.

Ruth J. Leeds