In the race to be among the first states to implement legal sports betting, Missouri is looking to keep pace with the frontrunners. A draft piece of legislation obtained by SportsHandle outlines the contours for sports wagering and potential sports betting operators in the state, as well as certain benefits for MLB and the NBA, which are lobbying for some highly aspirational terms.
The draft bill, which originated in the Senate, but has not yet been assigned a number and does not appear to have a sponsor at this time, is said to circulating around the general assembly in Jefferson City.
On the House side, Representative Bart Korman (R-High Hill) introduced House Bill 2320 on the floor of the 99th General Assembly on Jan. 29. HB 2320 is a “placeholder” sports betting bill with little meat on the bones, but as previously reported on SportsHandle, it opened the conversation. Rep. Korman’s office has requested HB 2320 be referred to committee, but as yet, it has not been.
In Draft Missouri Sports Betting Bill MLB, NBA Want Control of Data, Real-Time Data, The Right to Limit, Restrict and Exclude Certain Wagering And, Oh Yeah, That ‘Integrity Fee’
In recent months, both the NBA and MLB have been vigorously lobbying for a cut of the profits in many states that are proposing to legalize sports betting. This draft piece of legislation includes the full buffet of terms and conditions those two leagues want (and presumably also the others who have yet to step into the light).
The bill would give the leagues, among other leagues, the ability to control the data the leagues are using to grade their wagers. Or in effect, they would be monopolizing data. Theoretically that data might be top-of-the-line, but could also lead to price gouging or at least would limit choice. They would also control real-time data (for in-play wagers and other products). They would also have the right to limit or restrict certain wagers. That’s on top of the “integrity fee.” Currently the leagues benefit from exactly zero of these terms and would-be fees.
New sports betting bill being pushed by MLB/NBA in Missouri would give leagues data rights, force operators to pay sports governing bodies 1- percent of amount bet. pic.twitter.com/cP21uqPb3l
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) February 14, 2018
Much of draft bill’s text mirrors the the language contained in one actually introduced in Indiana, HB 1325, which also calls for a so-called “integrity fee” — a 1% cut off all wagers, or roughly 20% of typical sportsbook revenue — to be paid to the leagues.
This week at a West Virginia Senate Finance Committee hearing where an MLB lobbyist appeared for remarks and questions, Sen. Doug Facemire gave a piece of his mind about the proposed “integrity fee.”
"I don't see why we should give you 1% for anything" says Senator Facemire to MLB's Blair. "Why should we pay you to protect you own interests. Especially 1% off the top. "It's ike we're paying the insurance premium" on your game." #hammer
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) February 12, 2018
Like every other state considering legalizing sports gambling, Missouri is preparing for the possibility that the United States Supreme Court will find in favor of the state of New Jersey in Christie (Murphy) v. NCAA, the case that could overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. PASPA, passed in 1992, is the federal law that effectively bans sports betting outside of Nevada.
Missouri lawmakers have until March 1 to introduce bills to the legislature and the state assembly adjourns on May 30. A draft bill is merely the first step toward introducing a bill and in any situation, it is possible that there are multiple drafts circulating in the Missouri House and Senate.