The Show Me State showed its enthusiasm for casino gaming last month.
Now, can the state take advantage of that enthusiasm and finally get Missouri sports betting passed? That is the question after the commercial casino numbers landed with an impressive high-water mark for March.
Missouri Casino Revenue Hits Peak
The records at the Missouri Gaming Commission website only go back to the 2017-18 fiscal year, but March’s revenue was the highest in that time span, dating back nearly six years.
The total adjusted revenue last month at the state’s 13 casinos combined was $176,832,746, which was up 12.7% from the February Missouri casino revenue report. The previous month’s combined total was $156.9 million.
That revenue figure from last month was also about 0.05%, or nearly $88,000, ahead of March 2022 in a year-over-year comparison. That figure from 12 months earlier had been the highest since at least July 2017.
The gaming proceeds earmarked for education totaled $33,421,389 in March, also the best figure for more than five years as the rate for that fund is a flat 18.9%.
Market Analysis For March
The Missouri Gaming Commission groups the state’s casinos in three clusters: The St. Louis market, the Kansas City market and all others – which are scattered throughout the state and known collectively as “out market” facilities.
The four St. Louis casinos usually account for about half the state’s revenue collection and that was the case again in March, with the “Gateway to the West” recording more than $87 million. Ameristar St. Charles Casino led the St. Louis market, and the state, at more than $26.8 million. River City Casino in Lemay had $23.7 million and Hollywood Casino recorded almost $22.5 million.
The Kansas City metro area also has four casinos, with Ameristar Kansas City topping the list for March revenue at $18.3 million. Of the five casinos considered to be outside of those two markets, Isle of Capri Casino in Boonville led the way with almost $8.6 million.
Missouri Sports Betting Latest
This month marked the latest effort in the long road to make sports wagering, especially Missouri sports betting apps, a legal and regulated component of the state’s gaming picture.
Last week, the sponsor of SB-30, state Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, pulled the bill from the floor after a day’s worth of debate led to myriad amendments to the proposal, which would legalize online and retail sports betting, as well as Missouri sports betting promo codes.
The main sticking point is that state Sen. Denny Hoskins wants to couple the legalization of video lottery terminals (VLTs) along with sports betting.
Those efforts have failed so far, but they have also slowed the progress of an attempt to bring sportsbook operators – and the Missouri sports betting promotions that they would offer to draw new customers – into the state. Neighboring Iowa, Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas and most recently Kansas have launched legal regulated sports betting. And another border state, Kentucky, signed a bill into law that will legalize sportsbooks, with a launch there expected sometime between this fall and early 2024.