Missouri Gov. Mike Parson ended all hopes for legal wagering in 2022 Monday when he announced that sports betting could not be voted on during a series of special sessions he called. In Missouri, a governor who calls a special session can dictate what topics will be discussed, and Parson never had legal sports betting in mind when he called the sessions to hammer out tax issues.
“Sports betting is clearly beyond the call and does not relate to Governor Parson’s topics in the call,” Parson’s spokesperson, Kelli Jones, told the St. Louis Dispatch. “I do not anticipate sports betting being a part of special session.”
Rep. Dan Houx filed legislation last week in hopes of keeping alive the topic of legalized sports betting, after a measure passed the House this year but was killed by filibuster in the Senate. The legislature is in a series of “extraordinary,” technical, and veto sessions. Parson called the extraordinary sessions in order to reach a resolution on an income tax break and tax credits related to agriculture. Lawmakers can still discuss legal wagering or any other topic, but they cannot vote on them.
Houx’s bill is similar to the one that passed the House earlier this year. It would allow for statewide mobile and retail wagering with platforms tethered to existing casinos and professional sports venues.
The bill would have made Missouri the seventh state to include professional sports venues in sports betting. Consumers can currently wager at pro stadiums in Arizona and Washington, D.C., or on digital platforms in those jurisdictions. In neighboring Kansas, bettors can wager at the Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino at Kansas Raceway, the only book open at an auto racing venue in the U.S., and the MLS Sporting KC could partner with a casino to offer a wagering platform.
Bills will likely be filed for 2023
The Missouri bill would have granted pro teams the chance to have digital platforms, but it would not have allowed in-person wagering at the venues. The bill calls for a 10% tax on gross gaming revenue, a $150,000 application fee, and renewal fees of up to $50,000.
The latest Missouri sports betting bill would allow 30+ mobile sportsbooks. Bill is unlikely to pass this year, but notable existing/likely casino partners:
bet365 & Circa also have similar casino partner deals in Colorado
— Ryan Butler (@ButlerBets) September 19, 2022
Legal wagering has been a contentious issue in Missouri, where state Sen. Denny Hoskins wants it linked to legal video lottery terminals. Stakeholders have also struggled to agree on what wagering would look like, though a coalition of professional teams and casinos came together to craft legislation, much of which is reflected in Houx’s bill.
Lawmakers can pre-file bills in Missouri in early December, and it’s likely that Houx, Hoskins, and others will do so.