JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
Legalized sports betting is an opportunity to boost education funding, a special Missouri House committee has found.
The Special Interim Committee on Gaming included those findings in a draft report compiled after meetings that began in August and wrapped up last month. The committee looked at a possible legal framework for sports betting after a landmark 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The committee also heard testimony about unregulated gambling machines.
"The committee views the legalization of sports betting as a legitimate opportunity to increase state revenues and to direct such revenues in a manner similar to the Missouri Lottery and casino gaming so that the bulk will help to fund education," according to the report ABC 17 News obtained from committee chairman Rep. Dan Shaul, R-Imperial.
Shaul said the state should make sure to create a regulatory regime that is fair but that provides revenue for the state.
"Regulation by the Missouri Lottery, the Gaming Commission, or by a new agency are all valid options for consideration, but the main goal should be to avoid unnecessary competition among state agencies and provide revenue for education," the report says.
The state heard from several witnesses about sports gambling, including a representative of Major League Baseball.
On the issue of illegal gambling machines, the report suggests possibly regulating them with licensing requirements and other tools. Local government regulation of the machines is another possibility, according to the report.