JEFFERSON CITY – Legalized sports betting could generate more than $15 million in tax revenue for Missouri, according to a new legislative analysis.
Under a proposal to be discussed in a House committee on Tuesday, the analysis of House bill 1666 shows potential income for schools in the state, ranging from $7.8 million to $15.3 million.
The estimated based on tax rate in the law submitted by the Representative. Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Peters, who is among the few lawmakers to fund the expansion of gambling in the Legislature this year.
The House Public Policy Committee is expected to hear three sports betting bills Tuesday as part of a new effort to bring betting to Missouri.
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In January, Missouri Professional Sports Teams and representatives of its gambling casinos announced they have reached an agreement to jointly lobby the state to join 32 others who have legalized betting on competitive events.
The effort has stalled in the Legislature because of disagreements over how to remove the status Unregulated, illegal slot machines has flooded gas stations, truck stops and bars in recent years.
Sen. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg, previously tied the two issues together in a single piece of legislation. He said on Thursday that he still wants to settle the two, but envisions them being treated as separate bills.
Until a 2018 court case, full-scale sports betting was illegal in all states except Nevada. Several states have moved quickly to get sports betting and tax proceeds on the books.
More than 20 bills covering some form of sports betting have been filed in Missouri since 2019, but none have crossed the finish line.
At least five bills have been introduced in the Legislature this year that could provide a framework that would allow Missourians to bet on Cardinals games, Blues hockey games, and soccer games. Kansas City captain, Kansas City Royals baseball game, St. Louis City and the Current Kansas City women’s soccer team.
Hoskins said the bills under consideration are still underway.
For example, he wants to see a ban on betting on high school sports. And, he said, people can bet on college games, too.
“College sports aren’t there,” Hoskins said.
He also wants to ban so-called “back bets”, in which people can bet on in-game events, such as which soccer midfielder will throw the first intercept or the pitcher. How many balls are thrown in a baseball game.
The tax rate stated in the law is also too low, he said.
Under his plan, he would tax casinos at 21%, while Christofanelli’s plan is 6.75%. Other versions set the scale at 10%.
“There’s a lot of stuff that’s not on the sportsbook bill,” says Hoskins.
Christofanelli said he was open to discussing potential changes.
“I’m not married to tax rates,” Christofanelli said. “It’s really hard to predict exactly what it will produce.”
He also opposes allowing betting on sports in high school.
“I don’t want to see that,” Christofanelli said.
While estimates put Missouri in $15.3 million annually, New Jersey brought in $49.4 million in new tax revenue last year. In Pennsylvania, the state collected $38.7 million in fiscal year 2020.
“My guiding star is making sure Missouri is competitive with other surrounding states,” Christofanelli said.
Among those expected to testify is John Pappas, chief executive of iDevelopment and Economic Association, a non-profit association representing sports betting companies such as FanDuel and DraftKings.
The group wants Missouri to keep sports betting regulations to a minimum to reflect what Pappas says is a rapidly changing landscape.
For example, the group opposes requiring bettors to register at a casino before they can start betting on their phone.
“We don’t want the law to tie the hands of regulators,” Pappas said.
As an example of the demand for sports betting in Missouri, the team cites data from GeoComply, which shows that in the weekend before the Super Bowl, Missourians made 69,372 attempts to access betting options in different locations. other states, mainly Illinois.
Those requests were blocked.
“Every year Missouri waits is another day when consumers are unprotected and money is left on the table,” Pappas said. “It doesn’t make sense to be on an island when literally every state around them will have legal sports betting.”