JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A bill to legalize sports gambling in Missouri passed the state House speedily on Tuesday, but the measure’s prospects in the Senate are far less certain.
The Republican-led House voted 118-35 in favor of the legislation, which would tax sports betting at 10%. Tax revenues would go to fund public education.
Bills to allow sports betting have failed for years to make it to the governor’s desk, despite interest from residents and the Kansas City Chiefs’ two Super Bowl wins in the past four years.
Attempts to authorize sports betting have gotten bogged down in the Senate this year over efforts to pair them with regulations on slot-machine-style games that have been popping up in convenience stores.
“This is a bill that we’ve been trying to get past the Legislature for far too long,” Kansas City Democratic Rep. Ashley Aune said during House debate. “Our constituents want this; we need to get it done.”
A total of 33 states and the District of Columbia now offer at least some form of sports wagering — each scrambling for shares of a multibillion-dollar enterprise that has rapidly expanded after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed it nearly five years ago.