Whatever hope lingered the Senate would pass Missouri sports betting legislation was officially extinguished late Thursday, when the state’s 2022 legislative session ended.
The higher chamber left Springfield without a deal on HB 2502, which would have paved the way for the Show Me State to join the more than 30 other states and D.C. that have already legalized wagering on sports.
The legislation initially stalled out in the Senate after members, such as Sen. Danny Hoskins, filibustered over the bill’s failure to include video lottery terminals. Hoskins’ subsequent efforts to get a standalone sports betting bill failed last week.
“We offered casinos 3 different bills on Sportsbook,” Hoskins said Thursday on Twitter. “…Unfortunately, the casinos said NO & the bill died.”
We offered casinos 3 different bills on Sportsbook. The last offer was on 5/10/22 & all the pro sports teams (Chiefs,Royals,etc), pro player orgs (MLBPA,NFLPA), mobile platforms (Fan Duel,Draft Kings) agreed to the deal. Unfortunately, the casinos said NO & the bill died. #moleg— Senator Denny Hoskins, CPA (@DLHoskins) May 12, 2022
Kansas passed its sports betting bill in April, with Gov. Laura Kelly signing the legislation into law Thursday.
Missouri Sports Betting Pursuit Full of Starts, Stops
Even before Sen. Hoskins’ attempts to salvage sports betting the last two weeks, Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer had told the St. Joseph News-Press he didn’t foresee the bill passing before the current session was up.
There had 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 had voiced their support for sports betting to Missouri legislators this year.
“The Gaming Commission projects approximately $9 million per year in new tax revenue to the state,” Missouri Gaming Commission chairman Mike Leara told KMOV-TV earlier this year. “Missouri will soon be surrounded by states allowing sports betting. That just may be too much for the legislature to ignore.”
Late April Senate Session Dooms Sports Betting
HB 2502 cleared the state’s House by a 115-33 margin on March 24. But it didn’t get the same reception when it went to the Senate on April 27.
Hoskins and other members of the upper chamber protested the bill’s failure to add video lottery terminals into the legislation.
Hoskins and fellow Republican Senator Mike Bernskoetter sparred over the video lottery terminals. Bernskoetter wanted the 5,000 machines removed from the bill, while Hoskins remained adamant they remain.
Bernskoetter decried the addition of video lottery terminals during the hearing, saying they would only further increase the number of gambling terminals in the state’s rest stops and gas stations.
The bill had passed the Senate Appropriations Committee by an 8-1 margin April 19.
Hoskins tried to restart the process, including introducing a standalone bill May 4, but those efforts failed.