Missouri Sports Betting Bills Begin 2024 Legislative Session

Posted on: January 8, 2024, 11:16h. 

Last updated on: January 8, 2024, 03:43h.

The new year is bringing a renewed effort to legalize sports betting in Missouri.

Missouri Senate
The Missouri State Senate, seen here in a session last year, adjourned without passing a sports betting bill. That means gaming activity won’t be legal in the state for at least another year. (Image: MOSENCOM/YouTube)

Two Missouri lawmakers filed two separate bills kicking off the new legislative session. Both bills seek to legalize sports betting in the Show Me state.

State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer (R-Buchanan) filed SB852, which calls for legalizing online sports betting and would allow riverboat casinos to team up with three online sportsbooks. The bill would also allow each Missouri professional sports team to partner with an online sports betting operator.

Casino.org has previously reported on professional teams, including MLB’s St. Louis Cardinals, that have stated their willingness to bankroll a statewide initiative to legalize sports wagering.

SB 852 suggests a 12% tax rate, with tax revenue going to the state’s education fund.

The second bill in this 2024 session is SB824, filed by State Sen. Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg). SB824 is similar to SB825 and suggests a 10% tax rate. Sen. Hoskins supports legalizing Video Lottery Terminals, which is a primary aim of the bill. The legislation would also allow riverboats to partner with just two mobile sports betting providers.

Odds of Passage in 2024

If history is any indication, the odds of passing sports betting legislation are slim. All of the previous attempts to legalize sports betting in the past few years have been unsuccessful.

Even Sen. Hoskin has been seen as standing in the way, as he was blamed for the failure of sports betting legislation last year. A sports betting statute passed the state House of Representatives in 2023, but stalled in a Senate committee.

Six of the seven states that neighbor Missouri have legalized sports betting. The effort to stop money from leaving state borders could add some legislative momentum.

There is also a push by Missouri’s Secretary of State, John Jay Ashcroft, and the coalition of Missouri’s professional sports teams to change the state’s Constitution via a referendum to place the question of sports betting on the ballot.

Where Sports Betting Remains Illegal

Missouri is one of a dozen states where sports wagering remains illegal. More than five years ago, the US Supreme Court cleared the war for states to adopt the practice.

Alabama, Alaska, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah are the states where sports betting remains illegal.

As lawmakers in Missouri begin 2024 working through legislative frameworks, petitions filed by the Missouri Pro Sports Betting Coalition seek to revise the Missouri constitution and allow sports betting to launch no later than Dec. 25, 2025.