JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
A new piece of legislation put the topic of sports betting back on state lawmakers' agendas.
House Bill 581, filed by State Representative Phil Christofanelli (R-St. Peters), aims to add Missouri to the list of states with legalized sports betting. The proposed bill would allow Missouri residents over 21 to legally places bets on sports online and in casinos.
"Sports betting in Missouri is already happening,” Christofanelli said in a news release. “Missourians frequently cross state lines to place bets or go through online avenues that don’t bring the state any revenue.”
Missouri lawmakers have discussed the topic of sports betting for the past few years. Christofanelli filed sports betting bills over the past three legislative sessions.
However, with nearby states such as Kansas and Illinois legalizing sports betting, extra pressure is added on Missouri to join the list.
“We've got a whole lot of folks from Kansas City who are looking at that revenue that sports betting is bringing in and wondering why we're not getting that here in Missouri,” Rep. Crystal Quade (D-Springfield) said in a press conference earlier this year.
Under the bill, betting in the state would be taxed at 10%, meaning casinos would pay the tax from their own profits. The money would go towards government-funded programs and projects, some lawmakers have pushed for public education.
That percentage could also make Missouri competitive with other states that have legalized sports betting. Illinois’ 15% tax brought in $92 million in new tax revenues for the fiscal year 2022.
“Legalizing sports betting is a common-sense issue,” Christofanelli added. “I hope this is the year we can get this done so we can give Missourians more personal freedom and bring more revenue to our state.”
The bill is awaiting committee action.