A new piece of sports betting legislation has made its way into the Missouri House of Representatives, giving hope for wagering in the new year.
House Bill 556, which is sponsored by Rep. Dan Houx of Warrensburg, would allow for excursion gambling boats and “designated sports districts” to offer mobile and retail Missouri sports betting.
The legislation calls for excursion gambling boats to partner with up to three sports betting partners apiece, while sports districts are permitted to partner with one mobile sports betting platform.
The sports districts cover any professional teams in a licensed area but says they can only do so on mobile devices, as retail wagering would be limited to excursion boats under the legislation.
What to Know About Missouri’s Latest Sports Betting Bill
Much of the language in H.B. 556 mirrors H.B. 2502, which the legislature failed to pass in 2022, with an application fee of $150,000 and a slight change to the tax rate (10%, from 8%).
The legislation also includes several items that were included in Kansas’ S.B. 84, which legalized wagering in the Sunflower State — with the same tax rate and similar allowances for casino and professional sports teams to gain wagering licenses.
Kansas sports betting was passed in the summer and launched Sept. 1.
It remains to be seen whether H.B. 556 will avoid the fate that befell H.B. 2502, which ultimately died in the Senate after a filibuster over the bill’s failure to include video lottery terminals.
It’s worth noting H.B. 556 makes no mention of the terminals, though that could change as amendments are added in the legislative process.
Ultimately, the Senate left Springfield last spring without a deal on H.B. 2502, which would have paved the way for the Missouri to join the more than 30 other states and D.C. that have already legalized wagering on sports.
H.B. 556 was prefiled by Houx on Tuesday, with the first reading of the legislation coming Wednesday — the first day of the 2023 session.
The Missouri legislature has until May 12 to get legislation across the desk of Gov. Mike Parson.