Missouri Sports Betting Bill Dies After Senate Ends ’22 Session Early

Posted on: May 13, 2022, 05:01h. 

Last updated on: May 13, 2022, 11:02h.

The Show-Me State will have to wait at least another year to legalize sports betting. Late Thursday evening, the Missouri Senate voted to adjourn its 2022 session a day early. With that, it ended any hopes of making the state the 36th to allow the gaming product.

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

The move came on the same day as Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly signed a bill into law legalizing sports betting in Missouri’s neighbor to the west. With that law might come an effort to sway the Kansas City Chiefs or Royals out of Missouri. Kansas plans to use 80% of the proceeds to offer incentives to pro teams to relocate to the state.

Until a couple of weeks ago, it appeared as if Missouri lawmakers would pass a sports betting bill. However, state Sen. Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg) tied up the measure on the floor through a protracted debate. Hoskins supports legalizing sports betting. However, he did not like that the legislation the House passed did not include a provision to legalize video gaming terminals in the state.

Missouri is home to 13 state-licensed commercial casinos.

Friday was supposed to be the final day of the session to act on bills, according to the Missouri Constitution. However, the upper chamber ended its 2022 session early, according to several media reports. That occurred after a contentious vote on a congressional redistricting plan.

Per the state’s constitution, the legislature must adjourn by midnight on May 30 of each year. However, that provision also states that any bill “remaining on the calendar” as of 6 pm CT on the first Friday after the second Monday in May is automatically tabled for the rest of the session.

Hoskins: Pin the Blame on Casinos

On Thursday afternoon, Hoskins posted on social media and pointed the blame at the state’s casinos for sports betting not passing in the session. He said the casinos received three proposals regarding sports betting.

The last offer was on 5/10/22 & all the pro sports teams (Chiefs, Royals, etc), pro player orgs (MLBPA, NFLPA), mobile platforms (Fan Duel, Draft Kings) agreed to the deal,” Hoskins tweeted. “Unfortunately, the casinos said NO & the bill died.”

Hoskins added that he was not the sponsor of the bill, and said Majority Caucus Chairman Dan Hegeman (R-Cosby), the point person for the bill in the Senate, would not allow a vote unless all sides were in consensus.

A message to the Missouri Gaming Association, the trade group representing the state’s casinos, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment late Thursday night.

Missouri Surrounded by Sports Betting

House Bill 2502, the bill that Hoskins filibustered two weeks ago, would have allowed the casinos to offer both brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and online sports betting apps in Missouri. It would have placed an 8% tax on sports betting revenue. Except for a $500,000 annual allotment to a state-run problem gambling fund, the tax proceeds would have been earmarked for education funding.

With Kansas’ bill becoming law Tuesday, Missouri essentially finds itself surrounded by sports betting states. Currently, sports betting is available in Iowa, Illinois, Tennessee, and Arkansas. Like Kansas, Nebraska has passed sports betting legislation. But that state has yet to enact regulations regarding the activity.

Kentucky, where a sports betting bill died on the final day of its legislative session last month, and Oklahoma are the only states bordering Missouri that do not allow sportsbooks.

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