Missouri Governor Mike Parsons held an Extraordinary Session in order to discuss plans to move forward with legal sports betting. This comes as a direct response to the early success of their neighbors in Kansas.
The Kansas sports betting launch has seen nearly 100,000 Missourians attempt to wager across the border since Sept. 1.
Missouri Files Sports Betting Bill
From the session came HB 4, a sports betting bill filed by House Rep. Dan Houx.
Legislative staff member Ed Vaught shared with TheLines a statement in regards to Houx’s sports betting bill:
The current extraordinary session was called by the Governor to have robust discussion to keep as much of Missourians own money in their hands while ensuring we continue managing our state finances by balancing our budget every year. I feel strongly that an important part of that discussion must include removing barriers that cause Missourians to spend their hard earned money in other states.
After watching an exodus of Missourians over the last two weeks contribute to Kansans’ economy through sportsbook, it is clear Missouri has missed an opportunity to be responsible in maintaining a balanced budget while also cutting taxes. As Kansas and other surrounding states capitalize at our cost, I believe adding sportsbook to the discussion rises to the level of extraordinary. This is why, despite being outside of the Governor’s call, that I have filed House Bill 4 and I hope the Governor will give serious consideration to expanding the call.
The statement from Rep. Houx’s camp shows that Missouri is attempting to offset the lost tax dollars going to Kansas. Kansas City Missouri is only 20 miles east of the Kansas border; taking a trip across the border is only a drive away.
It is not just Kansas that Missouri lawmakers have to worry about either. The Show Me State borders Iowa, Illinois, Tennessee, and Arkansas which all have online sportsbooks live. Legislators are missing out on potential millions this NFL season with the lack of Missouri online sportsbooks.
What’s Next For Sports Betting in Missouri?
Missouri lawmakers are set to discuss HB 4 on Monday, September 19. The bill will see mobile and retail sports betting available with local teams able to offer online sportsbooks. The bill does not follow the trend of in-stadium sportsbooks.
The Missouri legislative session has actually ended for 2022, meaning if this bill fails to pass during this Extraordinary Session then locals will have to wait until next year to see another bill. The push for sports betting from Gov. Parsons, the support from House Reps and State Senators, as well as local teams and city mayors, means there should be some optimism for the bill to pass.
Missouri sports betting could become a reality in the near future.