Casinos in Missouri continued to stay on a record pace for revenue in a fiscal year even as September’s figures fell short of the previous month.
For now, those casinos are the best option for wagering in the state because an attempt to make Missouri sports betting legal in 2022 didn’t get far in a recent special session of the legislature.
The 13 riverboat casinos in the Show-Me State combined for $157,818,996 in revenue last month. That was a 2.0% decline from the Missouri August revenue of nearly $161 million.
Gaming proceeds directed to education fell by the same percentage, from about $30.4 million in August to $29.8 million in September.
However, the September figure was a 3.7% increase from September 2021, when it was $152.1 million. In the 2021-22 fiscal year, Missouri casinos set a record with $1.9 billion in revenue, but they are ahead of that pace three months into fiscal 2022-23.
Breakdown of Missouri Casinos in September
As usual, the Ameristar St. Charles Casino in St. Louis led the state with nearly $24.5 million in revenue for September, according to figures from the Missouri Gaming Commission.
Two of Ameristar’s rivals in the St. Louis market, the River City and Hollywood casinos, also made more than $20 million in September.
The leader in the Kansas City market was Ameristar Kansas City at almost $17 million, followed by Argosy and Harrah’s, which had almost identical months, each falling between $13.8 and $13.9 million. Isle of Capri Casino in Boonville led “out market” facilities at $7.8 million.
Missouri Sports Betting Advocates Aim For 2023
The fight to adopt sports betting in Missouri will have to wait another year, as state residents can only look longingly at a new active market to the west in Kansas.
In September, there was hope that a special session in the legislature could lead to the legalization of sports wagering in Missouri in 2022.
But Gov. Mike Parson said the special session was designed only to cut the state tax rate in the Show-Me State.
Thus HB 4, which would have made legal, regulated mobile and retail sports betting a reality in Missouri, was set aside for the year.
The next regular legislative session begins in January. It might well catch the attention of lawmakers in Missouri that eternal rival Kansas completed its first month of sports betting in September with more than $160 million in handle and almost $1.3 million in revenue.
If patterns in previous states hold true in Kansas, expect those figures to rise dramatically as football season goes on. States tend to build momentum for months after launching as more residents figure out how to place bets, download sportsbooks apps and generally become more knowledgeable about mobile sports betting. And football season is always the peak time for sports gambling.
HB 4 was introduced by Rep. Dan Houx but it was not the first attempt at legalizing sports wagering this year in Missouri. Earlier in 2022, HB 2502 passed 115-33 in the House, but the measure didn’t make it through the state Senate.
So again, Missouri folks will simply have to keep crossing the border, making bets and leaving tax dollars in neighboring Iowa, Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas — and now Kansas.