Three bills aiming to legalize sports betting in Missouri were set to underdo a committee hearing on Tuesday.
Casino gambling is legal in the Show Me State but sports betting is not allowed. More than 20 bills related to sports betting have been filed since 2019 but none of them have come to fruition.
On Tuesday, the House Committee on Public Policy is expected to tackle the three bills in an attempt by lawmakers to push legal sports betting after missing out on this year’s Super Bowl LVI betting activities.
Three Sports Betting Bills
SB 764 and SB 643, both referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee last month, would allow online sportsbooks tethered to riverboat casinos with state regulatory approval. Under both bills, each casino will be eligible to have three individually branded platforms. Retail sports betting meanwhile would be permitted in a riverboat casino lounge, or kiosk-type sites at casinos or their hotels and restaurants.
Meanwhile, SB 1046 is similar to the two bills but it allows the licensing of a mobile sportsbook in newly-established “designated sports districts” surrounding pro sports venues. This sports district betting would be in addition to the mobile and retail sports betting options.
SB1046 also requires all sports betting activities to be processed through servers located at the riverboat casinos in order to satisfy the constitutional requirements of the state.
Revenues to be Allocated for Education Budget
The three bills up for consideration all aim to allocate tax collections from sports betting to Missouri’s public education system. K-12 schooling and academics have become top issues in recent years as the budget for education has dwindled amid increased school costs.
Missouri ranked next to last among U.S. states in 2020 as far as K-12 funding was concerned. According to public records, only 32% of the state’s per-student funding comes from the budget of the government. The other 68% is generated via local funding and for residents, that means taxes.
If the sports betting bills are to be believed, legal Missouri Sports betting could bring in up to $15 million in funding, which would be a great start for legislators in trying to make up for the education budget deficit.