After spending most of the year at odds with each other, Missouri lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are finally in agreement to support the legalization of sports betting. The revelation came to light after a series of meetings were held by the Missouri House Special Interim Committee between August and November.
This seven person committee held five meetings during that timeframe and released a report on their findings earlier this week. Currently, the report is being passed around for signatures.
Details About the Report
All in all, the report says that if Missouri doesn’t start offering legal sports betting it cannot remain competitive with other states and will lose sports gambling tax revenue. The Committee has the opinion that legal sports betting in the state would be a “legitimate opportunity to increase state revenues” to support education and other important programs.
The report also says that Missouri should focus on both preserving and expanding the Missouri Lottery and casino gambling in order to raise money for education.
Concerns raised in the report include age restrictions to stop minors from gambling and that the majority of sports betting revenue should go towards education.
The Committee concluded that the state should lay out a regulatory framework that not only is fair for all agencies, but also focuses on providing revenue for the state:
“Regulation by the Missouri Lottery, the Gaming Commission, or by a new agency are all valid options for consideration, but the main goal should be to avoid unnecessary competition among state agencies and provide revenue for education.”
Projected Numbers for Missouri
In November, MLB representative Jeremy Kudon testified before the committee, and said that Missourians will likely spend $5.5 billion every year on sports betting, if it was legalized. From that, Kudon estimates, Missouri would receive approximately $37 million every year in taxes.
Kudon wants to see a bill drafted that will create the best possible legal sports gambling framework for the state. He does have concerns and wants it known that Major League Baseball is against allowing betting on spring training games.
Both the Missouri Gaming Commission and the Missouri Lottery have offered to help with regulation, drafting of legislation, and enforcement to address the issues raised in the report.
Missouri legislators will return for the 2020 session on January 8th, where the report will go to House Speaker and the full House.
Eighteen states will have legalized sports gambling by 2020. Missouri lawmakers are hoping that they can replicate the success that other states are experiencing with their sports betting markets.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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