It looks like the pursuit of Missouri sports betting will be a rollercoaster ride to the finish.
Roughly a week after the state’s Senate failed to bring HB 2502, which would legalize sports betting in the Show Me State, to a vote, the bill might have life left.
Those with knowledge of the process indicate a deal could be close, with legislators trading video lottery terminals for a higher tax rate and higher entry fees on sports betting. HB 2502 was stalled by a lengthy filibuster on April 27 from Sen. Danny Hoskins, who wanted VLTs included in the sports betting deal.
Hoskins said his efforts to pass a stand alone sports betting bill early Thursday morning failed, but he will keep trying.
Brandt Iden, who serves as the head of government affairs for Sportradar, told BetMissouri.com in an email a deal could still be reached between now and when the session is scheduled to conclude May 13.
"I absolutely think that there is still time for a Hail Mary pass in Missouri,” Iden told BetMissouri.com. “The legislature has until May 13 to come to an agreement and there's no doubt in my mind that Missouri legislators are feeling the pressure from Kansas sending a bill to the governor, which we believe will be signed in the coming weeks. So now is a prime time for a deal.”
Missouri Sports Betting Pursuit Full of Starts, Stops
As early as Monday, a deal didn’t seem imminent. State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer told the St. Joseph News-Press this week he didn’t foresee the bill passing before the current session was up.
But there has been additional pressure to work out a deal thanks to Kansas passing a sports betting bill (SB 84) the day after Missouri’s failed to clear the Senate. Kansas hopes to have sports betting up in time for fans to place a wager on the Kansas City Chiefs to win the Super Bowl.
Kansas’ deal also includes language that would allow revenue from sports betting to be used to lure professional teams to the state. The Chiefs, St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Blues have voiced their support for sports betting to Missouri legislators this year.
Iden believes all parties involved in the Missouri sports betting debate know full well what’s at stake if they fail to pass HB 2502, whether at the 21% tax rate proposed by the Senate’s bill or at the House’s 12% rate.
“Gaming is a complex issue in every state, and my experience has taught me that many of these deals come together in the final days, sometimes hours of session,” Iden added.“These two states are highly competitive, so I am not counting Missouri out for the year, until the clock runs out.”