Could Missouri residents be able to wager on the outcome of Kansas City Chiefs games directly from their seat in Arrowhead Stadium? Or can they bet on how many strikeouts newly acquired Kansas City Royals’ right-hander and six-time All-Star Zack Greinke will have in a given start while they sit in the Crown Seats at Kauffman Stadium?
It's a very real possibility.
On March 24, Missouri sports betting moved closer than it has ever been when the state House of Representatives passed HB 2502 and HB 2556, which would allow bets on professional and college sports, by a 115-33 vote.
Previously, there had been public hearings on bills with various tax rates, but there were not any votes made on those bills. On March 23, the 10% tax rate on the bill was reduced to 8%, according to Rudi Keller.
Keller is the deputy editor of the Missouri Independent and covers the state budget, energy and the legislature, according to his bio. He has spent more than two decades covering Missouri government and politics and says the best-case scenario for Missouri sports bettors hoping to finally place a wager inside state lines would come later this summer.
“What you’ve got, is, if it passes and is signed by the governor, the earliest date that you can wager on sports in Missouri is Aug. 28,” Keller said. “By the time the Kansas City Chiefs take the first snap of the first game of the season, if one of these bills passes, you’ll probably be able to bet on it.”
$100 Million in Missouri Revenue?
Sports betting in Missouri could bring in nearly $100 million in revenue to the state and $10.8 million to local governments, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Could that money start flowing in this August? If so, here’s what Missouri’s sports-betting scene could look like.
For starters, each of the 13 casinos in Missouri would offer a brick-and-mortar sportsbook for in-person sports betting. There would be numerous online options, as well, through partnerships with sports-betting websites such as DraftKings or FanDuel.
Currently, there are six licensed casino operators that would be able to offer a maximum of six sports-betting platforms per casino. In Missouri, Penn National and Caesars Entertainment each operate three casinos. Affinity Gaming, Boyd Gaming Corp. and Century Casinos each operate two casinos while Bally’s Corporation operates one.
“The (casino companies) that have three casinos would have up to six platforms for online gambling. The ones with two (casinos) could have up to six. Any casino company with only one casino in the state would have up to three (online platforms),” Keller said. “You could have a Caesars FanDuel, Caesars DraftKings — that’s the nuts and bolts of it.”
Pro Sports Teams Would Be Involved
Each of the major sports teams in Missouri — Kansas City Chiefs, St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, Kansas City Current, St. Louis Blues, Sporting Kansas City and St. Louis Soccer Club – would be permitted to have an official gaming platform, according to Keller.
Each franchise’s chosen sports-betting platform would have exclusive advertising rights over a 400-yard radius or “designated sports district” around its stadium, Keller said.
Many Missouri residents have driven across state lines to gamble on sports in Illinois. It is illegal by state law to bet on an Illinois college team online, only in person. No such limitation at the collegiate rank would exist in Missouri.
“The only limitations are that they don’t want any prep sports wagering in Missouri,” Keller said. “They have not made any restrictions on wagering on collegiate athletics.”