The Show Me State has shown us a little bit in regards to gambling, but Missouri, like so many other states, has finished up its legislative proceedings for the year. That means that gambling will have to wait until the calendar turns to 2019 at the earliest. One of the points of emphasis in the discussions that have taken place since the strike down of PASPA looked like a certainty was the integrity fee. Missouri has agreed to a one percent integrity fee.
Missouri has a lot of casinos, most of which are centered on the big population centers in the border cities of Kansas City and St. Louis. That is important because Missouri risked losing a lot of money over the border to neighboring states that were moving forward. That made it a fairly easy bill to construct and it should be a fairly easy bill to get moved forward when congress resumes.
That whole swath of states from the Atlantic seaboard out to the Great Plains is moving forward, with Ohio as the one bringing up the rear currently, but it should be a big surprise. Those states are fairly balanced politically or are simply following the leader when it comes to sports betting. You can almost think of it as a domino effect that started in New Jersey and simply swept west through the Rust Belt and out into the heartland.
While Missouri would have eventually swung in favor sports betting, the state was also positioned in a way that the surrounding states were all making a move, so it was the only move that truly made sense.
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In fact, to that last point, State Representative Justin Alferman said as much to KY3 the day after the strike down of PASPA was made official.
Matthew Hall and Joe Siess at the Missourian spoke with Caleb Rowden from the Columbia area, which sits right between Kansas City and St. Louis, about his bill to legalize sports betting in the state.
Two very different editorials were written for difference places. In the St. Louis American, Alvin Reed talked of his hopes for Missouri to become the “Midwest sports gambling Mecca”. Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post Dispatch took it a different way.
Missouri should be on board early in 2019. The implementation will probably take Missouri close to football season, but there may be some pressure to fade the rebuilding Royals and back inflated prices on the Cardinals during the baseball season. Either way, there isn’t a whole lot of mystery or intrigue with this one.