Legalize Sports Betting in Missouri – What a Longshot Idea
Sports betting is legal in Missouri. Two separate state legislators recently introduced an initiative to allow sports betting. If passed, it would still need 2/3 support in the legislature. If the legislature passes the bill, it will become law in late August. It will be one of the first sports betting topics up for debate in the Missouri legislature.
Sen. Jimigue Bailey (D-St. Louis) has introduced legislation to start a lottery through the state lottery commission. The proposed amendment to the Senate Bill 725 would increase lottery funding by creating a lottery premium based on population size and sales tax revenues. The amendment also includes a provision that allows the lottery to accept electronic money. Although, it is unclear at this time how the Senate will move forward with the bill.
Missourians to vote twice for governor every term. In the upcoming election, voters will choose between incumbent governor, John Adams for a second term, and Attorney General Eric Holder for a third term as governor. As a voter, if I didn’t know anything about sports betting before the election, I might ask my fellow citizens what they were thinking. They may have told me that they didn’t care either way. It doesn’t make sense to take the chance on a race where the favorites are well favored. This is why the stakes for the upcoming midterm elections in Missouri are so high.
In September of 2021, the first official sports betting season will kick off. The legislature is expected to pass a constitutional amendment in November that will certify a winner in the upcoming midterm elections. If the amendment is passed, it will be the first major step toward legalizing sports betting in Missouri. Whether the measure passes or is shot down, remains to be seen.
Another bill that makes its way through the Missouri State Capitol would legalize sports betting by amending the Missouri Constitution. Proponents of the amendment claim that it will protect against corruption in state government. Opponents argue that the new royalty fees or license fees would be a backdoor way to collecting money from residents of the state to support the Board of Equalization and their own campaign coffers. Although no one is quite sure what the outcome of this bill will be, there is speculation that the Senate might pass it as early as this week.
In June of 2021, another piece of proposed legislation was introduced to legalize sports betting in Missouri. This time, the sponsor of the legislation is Sen. Bob Kerkorian (R-BO) of St. Louis. Kerkorian hopes to introduce legislation in the coming session that would provide funds for college sports programs, he says. He has already introduced a similar piece of legislation in the Missouri House.
One other bill that could be considered for the 2021 ballot initiative is a proposal to legalize sports betting in Missouri through a voter measure. This bill, authored by Democratic lawmakers, would require each candidate for the state lottery position to submit signatures requesting they receive election access to the lottery. If the bill becomes law, the winner of the state lottery will receive public funding equivalent to the amount of the pot premium charged by the lottery. If the voters approve the ballot measure, the lottery could start offering more lucrative prizes to regular players.
The House and Senate voted along party lines to pass S.B. 14, which now moves to the governor for his signature. A final vote on the bill is expected in the coming days. Should it become law, the Missouri State Board of Equalization will determine who will fund the state lottery when the S.B. 14 takes effect.