JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri lawmakers are back at the Capitol for a special session to address tax cut proposals, but it appears there could also be some talks around sports gambling.
Missouri State Rep. Dan Houx (R-54th District) introduced HB4 earlier this week in an effort to legalize sports gambling within the state. According to online records, the Missouri House of Representatives could discuss the bill as soon as Monday.
The bill calls for new sports wagering provisions to legalize retail activity on state riverboat casinos and approve sports district mobile licenses for services such as DraftKings and FanDuel. Casinos would be entitled to a retail sportsbook and at least three mobile sports wagering platforms per location.
Other components of the bill include initial applications fees up to $150,000 for providers, a tax rate of 10% of adjusted gross receipts and an annual license renewal fee no larger than $50,000. The bill also calls for a $10,000 fee to cover the cost of a full reinvestigation of the provider every four years.
According to the bill, revenues received from taxes would be deposited into the State Treasury and credited to the “Gaming Proceeds for Education Fund.” Current Missouri law specifies that state revenue from casino gambling must be spent on educational programs. That would include sports gambling, unless state law is changed.
Houx’s bill is similar to one he introduced last year HB 2502, which included language sought by a coalition of casinos and professional sports teams, including the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues and many Kansas City teams. Supporters are hopeful such legislation could generate tens of millions of dollars to the state each year.
Dozens of states, including neighboring states Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa and Tennessee, have already legalized sports betting. Missourians attemped to cash in when Kansas legalized sports betting earlier this month with more than 100,000 people in Missouri trying to place bets through licensed Kansas operators before being blocked by geofencing software.