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Missouri Legislature Finds Comfort From Sports Betting Results in Other States

December 10, 2019

Like many states before it, Missouri is lining itself up to legalize sports betting for its residents. Over the last several months, the state legislature has been listening to testimony regarding the state of gambling in states where sports betting and online casino gambling are already legal. By all indications, the information being provided by gambling stakeholders is having a positive effect on how representatives feel about moving forward to change the laws in Missouri.

A report was issued regarding the prospect of allowing Missouri residents to be on sports. If the very first sentence in the report is any indication of where the House committee is learning, the legalization of sports betting is likely to be moving forward. The first reads:

“The committee views the legalization of sports betting as a legitimate opportunity to increase state revenues and to direct such revenues in a manner similar to the Missouri Lottery and casino gaming so that the bulk will help to fund education.”

The report goes on to discuss the ramifications for the state should state legislators decide not to legalize sports betting for residents. The primary concern would certainly be the loss of tax revenues to neighboring states (Iowa, Illinois and Arkansas) that have or will be allowing people to bets on sports legally in the very near future.

Finding Comfort From the Results in Other States

As part of the process, legislators have to address the concerns of the people. Among those concerns would be issues with underage gambling, problem gambling and the potential harm other forms of legalized gambling would do to existing revenue streams for the state lottery.

As for the underage and problem gambling issues, it looks like lawmakers are satisfied that the existing sports betting platforms are adequately addressing these issues. Furthermore, there doesn't seem to be much concern about finding ways to ensure that sports bets are only allowed by bettors located within the state's borders.

Finally, the report does discuss the potential of restricting bets on sports and sports teams that are located on Missouri land. That's a topic that has been well-covered in states like New Jersey, Nevada and California where legislators are also contemplating the legalization of sports betting and online casino gambling.

One topic the report barely touches on is mobile gambling. Legislators can expect residents to push for such access before any new laws are officially put in place.


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