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Missouri Legislators Gearing up for 2023 Sports Betting Discussion

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Updated Dec 5, 2022 · 2:59 PM PST

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Nov 20, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) gestures in the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • Two standalone Missouri sports betting bills have been pre-filed
  • Sen. Denny Hoskins (R-21), a key figure in last year’s discussion, has pre-filed his own bill
  • Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer (R-34) filed another bill

Missouri sports betting is already gearing up for a big run in 2023.

Last week Sen. Denny Hoskins (R-21) and Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer (R-34) both pre-filed sports betting bills to be discussed in Missouri’s 2023 legislative session. Both bills seek to legalize retail and online sports betting in the state, but have separate wrinkles that would shape Missouri’s sports betting landscape in very different ways.

Missouri’s legislative session will commence on Jan. 4, 2023, and conclude on May 12, 2023.

Video Lottery Terminals Again Discussed

The potential inclusion of video lottery terminals (VLTs) in a sports betting bill will be a hot-button issue for legislators to consider. Hoskins’ pre-filed bill (SB 1) seeks to legalize both retail and online sports betting, but also includes the legalization of VLTs throughout the state.

Hoskins’ bill, officially named the “Honoring Veterans and Support Education Act,” will help fund education and capital improvements at Missouri veterans homes and cemeteries.

“Our veterans homes and cemeteries are underfunded by $50 million. We need to fully fund our Missouri veterans homes and cemeteries. With $10 million from sportsbook and $250 million from VLTs in new revenue, we can honor our commitment to our Missouri veterans,” he told Sports Betting Dime.

The bill would allow for VLTs “in fraternal organizations, veterans’ organizations, and truck stops, as such terms are defined in the act, and in business entities licensed to sell liquor by the drink.” VLTs would be taxed at 36% and lottery facilities would be capped at five machines, with other entities at eight machines.

Through Hoskins’ bill, Missouri casinos would be eligible to offer retail sports betting and online sports betting through up to two online sports betting platforms. Missouri professional sports franchises would be eligible to offer online sports betting through one online sports betting platform only within a “designated sports district.”

These districts are defined as “areas surrounding stadiums in which professional sports teams play their home games.” Online sports betting through these Missouri professional sports teams would only be available for users within these districts.

His bill calls for a 10% sports betting tax rate on adjusted gross gaming revenues. The first online sports betting license would cost an operator $250,000, with a second license increasing to $500,000.

It’s a similar bill to one Hoskins floated in the state earlier this year. The Missouri House approved a sports betting bill in March to legalize retail and online sports betting for state casinos and Missouri professional sports franchises. The bill included an 8% sports betting tax rate and allowed for 39 separate sportsbook skins distributed amongst the state’s 13 casinos and six professional sports organizations.

The bill was amended slightly to include 5,000 VLTs, a 10% sports betting tax rate, and no parlay bets at lottery retailers.  However, after an amendment was floated to strip the compromised bill of the VLTs, Hoskins filibustered for nearly three hours and no vote was taken.

Hoskins eventually introduced a separate standalone bill that did not include VLTs, but upped the tax rate to 15% and increased the annual license fee from $125,000 to $1.25 million. He withdrew his bill towards the end of the 2022 legislative when it became obvious it would not receive a vote.

Standalone Sports Betting Bill

Luetkemeyer’s bill (SB 30) will also legalize online and retail sports betting in the state, but does not include a VLT element. Luetkemeyer’s bill sets the sports betting tax rate at 10% of adjusted gross gaming revenue.

Similar to Hoskins’ bill, SB 30 allows professional sports franchises to offer online sports betting in specially designated sports districts. Teams may operate their own sports betting platforms or partner with up to one sports betting operator to run its services.

However, Luetkemeyer’s bill specifically prohibits any “sports wager commercial activity, defined as any operation, promotion, signage, advertising, or other business activity related to sports wagering” within the designated sports districts.

Missouri casinos, under SB 30, may conduct retails sports betting with up to three individually branded interactive sports betting platforms. It may conduct online sports betting with up to one interactive sports wagering platform.

Application fees for each license will cost $100,000. An online sports betting platform can apply to the Missouri Gaming Commission to conduct sports wager through an application fee not to exceed $150,000. Every year after licensure, the platforms can submit a renewal fee not to exceed $125,000.

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