A new stand-alone sports betting bill that has been shared with stakeholders such as casinos and professional sports teams could be in play in Missouri as soon as the end of the week, sources told Sports Handle Wednesday.
The sources said the proposal includes a 15% tax rate, a $1.25 million annual fee per skin or platform, three skins per casino company up to six, and one skin each for professional sports teams. The proposal does not include video lottery terminals, which Sen. Denny Hoskins has long wanted in tandem with legal wagering.
Sports Handle was told that Hoskins and Rep. Dan Houx, who carried the House bill, are discussing the changes. Hoskins killed a pair of House-approved sports betting bills via filibuster last week.
Time is running short in Missouri, as the session ends May 13, but it’s possible that the new language could be inserted into an existing House bill and move through both chambers quickly if there is an agreement. One source told Sports Handle that lawmakers are in agreement about the new language and were waiting to hear from stakeholders if they will support it.
The tax rate in the new proposal is a halfway point between the 21% that Hoskins was pushing for and the 8% that passed the House in March. The $1.25 million fee per skin, or platform, is higher than either the Senate or House initially proposed. The bill would direct tax revenue from wagering to fund education, and those familiar with the legislation said a higher application fee would allow for $5 million to be dedicated to problem and responsible gaming programs and to funding for veterans homes.
The fee would be annual, which is unusual, as most states charge a high up-front fee with a lower cost for renewal.
Parlay bets at lottery terminals
The proposal would allow for consumers to make parlay bets — but not straight sports bets — at lottery retailers across the state. It would also allow for promotional deductions from taxable revenue by sportsbooks, similar to what casinos in the state are entitled to. Much of the bill would be similar to the House version that Hoskins killed, and Sports Handle was told he’s on board now with the increased tax rate and application fees.
“It’s been reported that the bill is dead, but it’s not technically dead until they go sine die,” Brandt Iden, Sportradar’s head of government affairs, told Action Network. “Folks in Missouri are definitely feeling the pressure of Kansas.”
Missouri’s neighbor to the west legalized wagering in a marathon Senate session that stretched from last Thursday into the wee hours Friday. Its bill, which sets a 10% tax rate, awards three platforms to each of the state’s casinos and sets aside 80% of tax revenue to lure new professional teams to Kansas. The legislation is awaiting Gov. Laura Kelly’s signature.
Bills in both states would require that digital platforms be tethered to brick-and-mortar locations.