You might not have to travel to Vegas to place your sports bets. Some Missouri lawmakers want to make sports gambling legal in the state. Under one proposal heard this week by a House committee, casinos would have to pay a sports gambling tax if Rep. Dean Plocher’s bill passes.
The House Budget Committee is considering the idea, along with whether to place a 12% tax from sports gambling and require casinos to pay a 1% integrity fee that goes to the sports leagues. The tax revenue would go toward education.
“(Gambling) stays in Missouri,” Plocher said. “It would be regulated by Missouri. The algorithms that are used would be able to be monitored by Missourians so there’s a level of security here that I believe is a must rather than send money overseas and let foreign countries make the money.”
Representatives from Major League Baseball, the Kansas City Royals, the St. Louis Cardinals and the National Basketball Association are in favor of the bill and offered letters to the committee.
Members of a House committee discussed how this would increase revenue for the sports teams and the casinos alike by getting more people involved and invested in teams.
A witness from the Missouri Gaming Association testified against the bill.
“The gentleman from Major Leave Baseball mentioned the margins of the casinos and that this will be a cash boom for the casino industry,” the representative from the Missouri Gaming Association said. “We take a little bit of a different approach. We don’t see this as a cash boom for the industry. We see this as another amenity we can offer to patrons who come visit our facilities.”
The committee has not yet voted on the measure.
By Missourinet contributor Waverly Colville