Missouri legalized casinos in 1992. Now, 26 years later, the ‘Show-Me State’ is looking to add sports betting into the mix.
Missouri lawmakers are currently circulating multiple drafts of a sports betting bill that proponents say could add up to $60 million annually to casino gaming revenue, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
While a spokesman for Missouri Governor Mike Parson says he is neutral on the idea of sports betting, legislators are trying to the details of the bill right. A previous sports betting bill sponsored by Rep. Dean Plocher failed to advance last spring.
Unless the law is changed, the majority of tax revenue from sports betting would go towards an education fund. Missouri’s 13 casinos brought in $1.74 billion in gaming revenue for 2017, generating $445.7 million in taxes for the state. This represented a modest 1.2 percent increase over the year before.
Missouri is home to riverboat casinos, (no longer required to cruise, and now stationary) which charge a $2 admission fee for every two hours a patron is on board. St. Louis remains the biggest market in the state, bringing in nearly half of gaming revenue, while Kansas City makes up the majority of the rest.
There are currently eight states that have rolled out sports betting in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn a federal law banning state’s from authorizing the activity. Nevada has been joined by New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, Mississippi, New Mexico, and most recently, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.