On May 14, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), clearing the way for individual states to legalize and regulate sports betting.
That decision came during the final weeks of Missouri’s annual legislation sessions, leaving little time to nail down the specifics of regulating a potential new industry.
Missouri sports betting status
Early in 2018, several bills were introduced that would allow sports gambling in the state of Missouri. The bills differ on where bets could be placed and the amount of tax revenue collected.
State Rep. Dean Plocher created a bill (H 2535) calling for a 12 percent tax on sports wagering revenue and a 1 percent integrity fee on all wagers that would send 20-25 percent of all revenue to the involved professional sports leagues. Along with Senator Denny Hoskins, Plocher has created the Comprehensive Missouri Sports Betting and Sports Protection Act with the blessing of the MLB and NBA.
However, this bill creates controversy since many states are refusing to pay such a fee while legalizing sports betting and Nevada has set the precedent by running sports books without a fee for decades.
Heavy fees would make it difficult for legal sports books to compete with the current industry of wagering online through offshore websites. Furthermore, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens resigned in late May amidst a sex scandal, putting such legislation on the back burner while the state works through more pressing issues.
While there is plenty of potential infrastructure with 13 casinos in Missouri and several professional sports teams that would consider joining in on the action, experts speculate that it will be at least a calendar year, if not more, before we see legalized sports gambling in the “Show-Me” State.
Sports Betting FAQ
When will sports betting be legal in Missouri?
There are several bills up for discussion, but state lawmakers are unlikely to vote any of them into law until at least 2019.
Where can I bet on sports in Missouri?
Nowhere yet as sports gambling is currently not legal in Missouri.
How old do I have to be to bet in Missouri?
Patrons would have to be at least 21 years old to enter casinos in Missouri and place wagers.
Who will oversee Missouri sports betting?
The Missouri Gaming Commission (MGC) would regulate and oversee the sports betting industry.
Can I get into trouble for placing bets with unregulated online sportsbooks before it’s legal in Missouri?
Yes, in order for a sportsbook to be legal it must be sanctioned by the state and placing bets with an unregulated bookkeeper can result in fines and potential jail time.