PROPOSES BILL, OPTIMISTIC IT WILL GET A FLOOR VOTE
At least 30 states have already legalized sports wagering.
Missouri is not one of those.
State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, a Republican who represents the district covering Platte and Buchanan counties, would like to change that.
Luetkemeyer says he has prefiled a bill that would legalize sports betting in Missouri.
The 2023 regular legislative session in Missouri begins Jan. 4 and runs through May 12.
A sports wagering bill made it to the floor of the last legislative session in Missouri, but it didn’t come to a vote.
Luetkemeyer, of Parkville, has high hopes for a vote this time.
“I feel more optimistic about the chances of the bill getting a floor vote this session (which starts in January),” Luetkemeyer told The Landmark on Monday.
He said with Kansas passing sports betting earlier this year, it means Missouri educational dollars are leaving the state since gaming dollars go to schools.
“This puts more pressure on the state to pass something now that both of the state’s two major border states–Kansas and Illinios–have sports betting,” Luetkemeyer said.
The recent legalization by Kansas has resulted in many Missourians–including many Platte County residents–to drive to Kansas to take part in in-person sports wagering at casinos or via online apps. To wager online, app users must be located within the state of Kansas at the time of placing the bet.
As Luetkemeyer is acknowledging, sports wagering money is bleeding from Missouri and going into government’s coffers in Kansas.
In addition to Kansas and Illinois, other nearby states that offer sports wagering include Iowa, Arkansas, and Nebraska.
According to the American Gaming Association, 30 states and the District of Columbia currently have sports betting legislation that’s considered “Live, Legal,” meaning single-game sports betting may be offered to consumers through legal retail and/or online and mobile sportsbooks.
Luetkemeyer explains that pre-filed bills get referred by the state senate president to committee in order of filing.
“Because I filed this as one of my first three bills, it will go to committee within the first few weeks of session. At that point, the committee chair whose committee the bill is referred to will set a date for a hearing and vote on the bill,” Luetkemeyer remarked.
Under Luetkemeyer’s proposal, sports wagering would be authorized in-person at licensed establishments and also over the internet for persons physically located in Missouri.
His bill would establish designated sports districts in areas surrounding stadiums in which professional sports teams play their home games. Professional sports teams would be able to designate a sports district mobile licensee to conduct sports wagering via an interactive sports wagering platform within the designated sports district.
Facilities known as “excursion gambling boats” in Missouri would be able to conduct sports wagering through up to three individually branded interactive sports wagering platforms and either operate or contract with a platform operation to administer sports wagering on behalf of the excursion gambling board.
At the Hollywood Casino in nearby Kansas City, Kan., the casino contracts with Barstool Sportsbook to administer its sports wagering operation.
Under Luetkemeyer’s proposal, interactive sports wagering platfomrs would apply to the Missouri Gaming Commission to conduct sports wagering on behalf of a “certificate holder.” The application fee is not to exceed $150,000, according to the proposed legislation.
Every year after licensure, an annual renewal license fee would not exceed $125,000.
The proposal would authorize wagering on sporting events, including esports. Esports are multiplayer video games played competitively for spectators, typically by professional gamers.
Luetkemeyer’s proposal calls for a tax of 10 percent on the adjusted gross receipts received from sports wagering conducted by a certificate holder.
That tax would be due by the last business day of each month. Revenues received from the 10 percent tax “shall be deposited in the Gaming Proceeds for Education Fund,” according to Luetkemeyer’s proposal.