Despite a push for legal sportsbooks in Missouri by Governor Mike Parsons, even calling an Extraordinary Session, the governor is now pumping the breaks on Missouri sports betting. Instead, Gov. Parsons is discussing state income tax rates and has pushed betting away from the forefront.
Parsons Pauses Betting Efforts
Gov. Parsons initially called the session in order to deal with the explosion of Missourians crossing the border to Kansas to bet on sports. During the Extraordinary Session, Republican House Rep. Dan Houx presented a sports betting bill. HB 4 would have brought online and retail sportsbooks to the Show Me State.
HB 4 was initially intended to be debated in the House on Monday, September 19, but it appears that the focus of the session will not allow for sports betting to be a topic.
“Sports betting is clearly beyond the call and does not relate to Governor Parson’s topics in the call,” said Kelli Jones, Gov. Parson’s spokeswoman. “I do not anticipate sports betting being a part of special session.”
With the bill unlikely to be a focus, the last-minute efforts by pro sports betting legislators seem dead in the water. The legislative session in Missouri has actually concluded for the year, with an earlier sports betting bill failing to pass.
What This Means For Sports Betting In Missouri
The Monday committee meeting came to a close and Rep. Houx was able to announce his bill. However, it is unlikely the bill will see a formal House discussion during this special session. Gov. Parsons specifically stated that it is unlikely a bill would pass in 2022.
Pro sports betting legislators are still optimistic about a chance to pass the bill during this special session. If the bill has time to be discussed then it is possible for HB 4 to make some headway.
Realistically, Missourians should set their sites for the 2023 legislative session. The outpouring of sports betting fans in Missouri embracing sports betting in the neighboring markets and the need to keep tax dollars in Missouri can sway lawmakers. A reported 100,000 Missourians attempted to wager at Kansas sportsbooks from across the border.
“The kickoff of the NFL season is like Christmas in the sports betting industry,” said Danny DiRienzio, GeoComply Senior Director. “We expect the volumes to increase significantly – not only in the state of Kansas, but certainly by Missourians either attempting to login to Kansas sportsbooks, or even crossing the border. We’ve seen a lot of that activity as well.”
Kansas’s success and its attraction for local Missourians will likely be the driving force for sports betting to pass in Missouri in 2023.