Hollywood Casino in Kansas City, Kan. is just a stone’s throw away from Platte County and a very short drive for those of us who live along the I-435 corridor. Hollywood Casino is about to become more popular with a lot of folks who live in Platte County. That’s a Between the Lines prediction for you.
And that prediction is based on the fact that sports betting has been legalized in Kansas. You can bet Hollywood Casino is gearing up to offer legalized sports betting about the time the football season opens this fall. Hollywood Casino plans to be ready to take your sports wagers when the NFL regular season opens around Sept. 11. The Kansas Speedway, coincidentally, will host the Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR race that same weekend. And that’s another sports wagering opportunity.
Kansas officially legalized sports betting effective July 1. By now you probably know where I’m headed with this. Sports betting is not legal in Missouri. Look to your legislators at the statehouse for the reasons why. Our legislators can be an interesting group on certain topics, sometimes slow to come around to modern times on some issues. This is one of those issues.
Missouri is missing out on some revenue. And it’s one topic that could play a factor if/when the Chiefs start sniffing around for a location for a potential new stadium, which has been hinted at by the club recently. If you don’t think that possibility is real I will politely disagree with you. KCK (Legends area) would love to steal the home of the Chiefs from KCMO, and the fact Kansas has legalized sports betting–and Missouri has not–could play a role in revenue factors that the Chiefs may find advantageous. Sports wagering in Kansas allows for a 10-percent tax on each bet and 80-percent of that revenue funding incentives to lure pro sports teams to Kansas. Targets will include the Chiefs, you can bet.
So it’s beyond time to legalize sports wagering in Missouri. We’re playing catch up at this point. Only Missouri and 14 other states have maintained a ban on sports betting. So basically two-thirds of states have legalized sports betting while Missouri remains in the roughly one-third that have not.
The Consumer Choice Center is a consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science and consumer choice. Their main policy areas are digital, mobility, lifestyle and consumer goods, and health and science. Consumer Choice Center evaluates all 50 states on how consumer-friendly their sports betting markets are. Unfortunately, with sports betting still illegal in Missouri, Missouri ranks dead last in the index. The organization sees sports betting as a positive, adding that “having an open and competitive market where legal sportsbooks compete for consumers” will “discourage consumers from placing bets in the illegal market, which is ripe for fraud and abuse.”
“Missouri should immediately legalize sports betting and do so in a way that opens the market and encourages competition. Since the overturning of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, 30 states have sought to legalize sports betting but not all states have created an open and competitive market. States should follow New Jersey’s lead and reap the benefits. Through low taxation and healthy competition, the legal sports betting market has exploded in the Garden State,” said David Clement, North American affairs manager for the Consumer Choice Center. Clement said New Jersey has generated $230 million in state tax revenue since the legal sports betting market was launched in mid-2018. “The reasons for New Jersey’s success are simple: they keep taxes low on sportsbooks, mobile sports betting (meaning via apps on cell phones) has become a priority, and while there is government oversight most of the industry is run by commercial sportsbooks. This could be easily replicated in Missouri,” he added.
Platte City has a solid police department. And it pays to have a good relationship with those guys. They keep a good eye on your property. For instance: A couple of weeks ago on the Thursday of our Landmark Live with the new Parkville mayor, Tech Man Schneider was working upstairs in our second floor studio prepping and synchronizing all the electronic gizmos that he needs to automagically produce another award-winning episode. I was working downstairs alone. Tech Man texted me to ask for some fresh batteries for some of the electronic gizmos. So I stopped what I was doing, grabbed a handful of AA batteries and went upstairs. I left the main floor office door unlocked–or at least I was pretty sure I did–thinking I would be right back down. Turns out I was upstairs longer than I anticipated. Tech Man was proceeding to tell me about all the graphics and other show-stopping whirly birds he had ready to roll for that night’s episode. And I hadn’t seen Tech Man for quite some time, so we also proceeded to get caught up on personal talk, and he began telling me about the chickens he has started raising in his suburban back yard. Of course being the tech wizard that he is, Schneider has done everything except design personal massage chairs for these chickens.
Anyway, our conversation carried on longer than expected and at one point I was pretty sure I could hear noise coming from the main floor downstairs, as if someone had entered the office. And shortly thereafter I felt my cell phone buzz in my pocket but didn’t give it much thought, as I was deeply enthralled by the topic of Tech Man’s chickens.
Soon I announced to Tech Man that I “better get back downstairs, I left the office unlocked.” The only entrance/exit to our second floor is from the outside. There are no interior stairs, no elevator, no Bat Pole. So I walked downstairs and exited the door to the second floor and stepped onto the front sidewalk. I then stepped over to the door for the main entrance to our office and turned the handle. Nope. It was locked. I started to question my sanity. “What the hell? I guess I did lock the door,” I said to myself. Actually I was so surprised that I said it out loud to no one as I fumbled for the keys in my pocket. Then about that time I heard a familiar voice hollering from the other side of Main Street. “Hey, I secured your office.”
It was Mike Mand. As in Sgt. Mike Mand of the Platte City Police Department. “I sent you a text,” he said.
Yes, yes indeed, I looked at my phone to confirm that the good sergeant in fact had sent me two text messages. His first text said: “Are you on break?” Which was polite mancode for “Hey, are you stuck in the toilet? Too much oatmeal for breakfast or something?”
“I’m holding your counter down,” his initial text concluded. A few minutes later he sent a second text: “I locked your front door on my way out.”
Is that great police work or what? The guy had stopped in for a chat, saw no owner or employees in the office, waited around for several minutes then left, securing the office on his way out. Talk about community policing at its finest.
I’d love to sacrifice one of Tech Man’s chickens on a future episode of Landmark Live. I’ll bring the frying pan.
(Sacrifice a chicken with Foley via email to firstname.lastname@example.org)