One main hurdle that needed to be cleared previous to sports activities betting being legalized within the state of Missouri was traversed on Monday, April 15.
HB119, which was first filed on Dec. 3, 2018, by Consultant Cody Smith (R-163) cleared a Home committee and now awaits scheduling for the total Home to debate the deserves of the invoice.
If the invoice turns into legislation in its present state, it will likely be an unprecedented framework for legalized sports activities betting. The invoice regulates authorized wagering on sporting occasions to vessels on water solely. There aren’t any provisions for on-line bets within the invoice. Moreover, it could require authorized sports activities books within the state to pay 0.75 p.c of their deal with to the skilled sports activities leagues whose video games are wager upon, and 0.25 p.c to the NCAA.
Books would additionally need to pay 0.60 p.c of their deal with to a fund that’s designated to bankroll building, renovations, and repairs to privately-owned sports activities stadiums within the state like Busch Stadium, the house of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Not one of the authorized books in any of the opposite states which have regulated sports activities betting are held to those requirements. Asking authorized sports activities books to surrender 1.6 p.c of their deal with wouldn’t solely be unprecedented however might truly work to maintain plenty of the motion within the state going via unlawful channels as a substitute.
The exorbitant taxes and restrictions on the place bets will be positioned imply the price of working a authorized ebook will seemingly be handed on to prospects. That can put authorized books at an obstacle in comparison with unlawful ones that aren’t paying any taxes out of their deal with and may supply a extra aggressive product not solely when it comes to price however comfort. Many unlawful bets are at present positioned on-line. Moreover, paying a full p.c of deal with to leagues like MLB and the NCAA will subtract from potential income the state will obtain from authorized sports activities betting.
The invoice as is can be a boon for leagues just like the NFL and NHL, which have a presence within the state with the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and St. Louis Blues. Not solely would they profit from the 0.75 p.c of deal with being paid out by books but additionally when it got here time for brand spanking new stadiums, they’d most definitely be the benefactors of that 0.60 p.c tax fund. If bettors gravitate towards authorized books, that’s.
It’s at present unclear what possibilities the invoice has in its present kind to be ratified by the total Home, a lot much less the Missouri Senate or signed into legislation by Gov. Mike Parson. Contemplating the truth that these sides of the invoice don’t at present exist in some other states’ authorized frameworks, this invoice could also be headed for a serious rewrite or failure to go.
With 4 groups from the 4 main skilled leagues and one main faculty athletics program within the state, the likelihood that there’s strong unlawful betting ongoing in Missouri is excessive. If the framework introduced by HB119 turns into legislation it’s seemingly that a lot of that exercise will stick with the unlawful books.