JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
Although the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl, Missouri continues to lose out on sports betting revenue.
GeoComply data from Super Bowl weekend showed a 22% increase in sports bets during Super Bowl weekend from last year. Sports betting is still illegal in Missouri, although all of its neighboring states have hopped on board.
Danny DiRienzo, senior director or risk services at GeoComply, said 431,000 attempts to place a bet during Super Bowl weekend in Missouri were blocked. He said these came from at least 40,000 different people.
"It's clear to me that the success of the Kansas City Chiefs are really driving sports betting interest in Missouri," DiRienzo said.
Bills on sports betting are introduced every year but never make it to the finish line. One that would legalize sports betting was passed by a House Committee on Monday afternoon. It now goes to the full House for debate.
However, House Floor Leader Rep. Jon Patterson (R-Lees Summit) said there won't be floor action Wednesday or Thursday so lawmakers can enjoy the Kansas City Chiefs victory parade and Valentine's Day.
"We have extra days this year with Leap Day and the long session," Patterson said. "So I think we're going to take these two days off from legislating and let people celebrate the Chiefs and be home with their loved ones."
Patterson is supportive of legalizing sports betting, but anything passed by the House is likely to meet a road block in the Senate.
"A lot of Missouri residents go over to Kansas, give them our tax dollars, place wagers, and then we don't collect taxes on our own that we need to fight problem gambling, which is a problem," Patterson said.
On the other side of Kansas City, people can legally place bets. GeoComply illustrates the divide in a video showing how many bets were blocked.
After years of bills not passing, six professional sports teams in Missouri filed an initiative petition that aims to legalize sports betting. The petition is currently gathering signatures.
"Missourians are already placing billions annually in sports bets using illegal, offshore gaming websites or traveling across state lines and boosting our neighboring economies, while depriving our classrooms of much needed resources," said Jack Cardetti, spokesman for Winning for Missouri Education.
If passed by voters, the petition would legalize betting on professional and college sports teams through casinos or online platforms in Missouri. Under this petition, there would be a 10% tax on the revenue after the winnings that would go toward public education.
The petition needs signatures from 5% of legal voters in 6-of-8 voting districts to get on a statewide ballot. More information about the initiative petition process can be found online. It takes a simple majority of voters for an initiative petition to pass. However, that could change if initiative petition reform is approved by the legislature.
St. Louis Cardinals President Bill DeWitt previously told ABC 17 News he would withdraw the petition if the legislature passes legal sports betting this session.