Legislators in Missouri have been batting around sports betting legislation for over three years now and have about as much to show for it as a standard 16-team, all-underdog, moneyline parlay.
In short, bupkis.
But state Sen. Denny Hoskins is ready to step back up to the plate for sports betting — and virtually all manner of gaming — in 2022, according to a report on Missourinet.com.
While the bill pre-filing season doesn’t start until Dec. 1, Hoskins — who chairs the Senate Economic Development Committee — is already talking about his plans for next year.
He wants it all, including sports betting, horse racing, legalized slot machines (aka “video gaming terminals”) at non-casino locations, and eSports wagering.
Hoskins said he will definitely file a sports betting bill, noting he believes it would bring in over $20 million annually in taxes for the state.
He also is keen to include eSports under the umbrella, the senator told Missourinet.
“When you talk about eSports, we’re talking about players, playing whether it’s Madden football, whether it’s Halo, whether it’s Fortnite,” Hoskins said. “And there are tournaments all over the United States as well as all over the world with this going on.”
As for horse racing? He noted that back in 1984, voters, by a 3-to-2 margin, approved parimutuel horse racing.
Slots are an issue
One big stumbling block for Haskins, however, might be the additional slot machines beyond casinos. He says new slot machine revenue would raise nearly a quarter billion dollars for K-12 education and notes illegal slot machines are already all over the state.
He faces major opposition in this fight, however, as Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz is opposed to legalizing the machines, according to the article.
Hoskins has been at the forefront of trying to bring sportsbooks to the Show Me State for at least the last three legislative sessions, and back in April, his latest bill failed to get off the Senate floor. That bill would have allowed for mobile sports betting tethered to existing casinos, and it also called for 10,000 slots at truck stops, bars, and fraternal organizations.
That was one of six bills concerning sports wagering that were filed last year, and it’s been made abundantly clear a consensus does not yet exist among lawmakers.
Hoskins clearly hopes the fourth time’s a charm.
“Missouri has done a lot in the gaming industry,” he told Missourinet. “However, we are still behind many of our surrounding states. I would definitely like to get sports betting passed, get video game terminals regulated. Hopefully we can get something passed this next legislative session.”