Legislation to Bring Legal Sports Betting to Missouri Proposed

Kansas City Chiefs mascot K.C. Wolf. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP)

There are several entities in the state of Missouri looking to make a push to bring legal sports betting to the state. As you would expect, casino operators are among that group but they have received a ton of support from the six professional sports teams in the state as well which is exactly the kind of news sports betting fans in the state want to hear.

Missouri Has Been Trying to Get Going for a While

Back in 2020, a bill that would regulate sports betting as well as video lottery had cleared the Missouri House Special Committee on Government oversight. That was great news for sports betting fans as that meant it was not the House floor’s turn to keep the ball rolling. HB 2088 as it was known, sought to establish the Missouri Video Lottery Control Act which would be the framework for legal sports betting as well as video lottery game terminals.

According to reports, there are an estimated 14,000 slot machines. They can be found at truck stops and gas stations throughout the state. They are also illegal under current state law. Obviously, HB 2088 did not come to pass because here we are in 2022 and Missouri is taking another swing.

This time, however, they have some heavy hitters in their corner; the six professional sports teams in the state. The Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Chiefs of the MLB, the St. Louis Blues of the NHL, the local MLS, and the local National Women’s Soccer League teams will all be heavily involved in this bill.

Professional Franchises Could Be Driving Force

We don’t need to go over the financial power of the professional franchises in Missouri. Some of these teams, especially in the NFL and MLB have long rich histories that are deeply embedded into the local communities.

For those not familiar with the history of the MLB, the St. Louis Cardinals were the most popular team in baseball outside of New York for at least a half-century. There were no teams in the south and large parts of the Midwest so the Cardinals are more than just a team in Missouri, they’re a part of the city, state, and region’s community.

Having them along with the other pro teams in the state, like the Chiefs of the NFL who recently won a Super Bowl is huge. While the Cardinals were one of America’s teams, the Chiefs are easily one of the most popular teams in the league today.

In order to get legal sports betting off the ground, you need a solid plan, lawmakers on your side, and financial muscle. They’ve got that in spades with the local sports teams and that will obviously ramp up fan interest in the subject as well. Not just from sports betting fans but casuals as well.

Current Bills Aimed to Fix Issues Not Covered in HB2088

There are two bills being introduced by lawmakers. One of the bills includes provisions for video game terminals which is still a big issue in the state with so many of them available, albeit illegally. The other bill is the one being backed by casino operators and professional franchises as well.

These bills were filed by Senators Tony Luetkemeyer and Dan Hegeman. The bills will have an application fee of $50,000 with an additional $100,00 for digital licenses. For sports betting fans, the key component to the new bills being proposed is that the professional franchises would each receive a mobile betting license.

They would also seek to have a virtual sports betting hub which essentially would allow for bets to be placed in and around the various stadiums. This is a massive win for sports betting fans in the state of Missouri, pending the outcome of these proceedings of course.

Players across the country that don’t yet have access to legalized sports betting via mobile, can go to OddsTrader once this changes. OddsTrader currently offers betting odds comparison in Illinois, Colorado, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, Iowa, and West Virginia.

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