issouri would join the growing list of states to legalize sports betting if the General Assembly approves legislation sponsored by State Rep. Phil Christofanelli.
HB 730 would provide a legal avenue for Missourians to bet on sports online and in casinos.
A number of states, including the neighboring states of Iowa, Illinois, and Arkansas, have legalized sports betting since a 2018 Supreme Court ruling lifted a nationwide ban on the practice.
“Everyone knows that sports betting is already happening in Missouri. My bill will create a regulated framework to place bets and will generate additional revenue for critical priorities like education, infrastructure, and Missouri’s veterans,” said Christofanelli, R-St. Peters. He added, “Legalizing sports betting is a common-sense issue. Constituents find it confusing that they can bet on Blackjack but not on sports.”
Under Christofanelli’s bill, Missouri would have a low tax rate of 6.75 percent, which would make the state competitive with its neighbors. Casinos would have to pay the tax – not bettors. The bill also would make Missouri the first state in the nation to explicitly legalize betting competitive video games known “e-sports.”
The legislation now awaits assignment to committee for further discussion. Christofanelli’s previous legislation received approval from the House Special Committee on Government Oversight during the 2020 legislative session. The legislation was unable to advance further through the process as a result of the session that was abbreviated by the COVID-19 pandemic.