“Anybody right now can download an app on their phone and participate in sports wagering in the State of Missouri. They are just doing so illegally,” St. Peter’s Republican Rep. Phil Christofanelli told the House Emerging Issues Committee.

“But it’s happening all across our state. The problem with that is there’s no regulatory oversight. We have no idea if they’re making sure that these people are of age to place wagers. There is no protection for compulsive gambling on these illegal apps. And the revenue is going overseas to places and countries that may not have our best interests in mind,” he told the committee Wednesday.

Christofanelli and Rep. Dan Houx, R-Warrensburg, are working together as sponsors of two sports wagering bills.

Houx said the state is missing out on taxpayer dollars. “During the Bengals – Chiefs game a couple of weeks or weeks ago, just during the timeframe of the game, there were 4,751 bets attempted to be placed at Arrowhead during that game. The same day that Sunday, in Kansas alone, there was 1.14 million bets placed in Kansas — 580,000 roughly people placing those bets, ” Houx said.

Democrat Ashley Aune of North Kansas City welcomed the bill: “I spent a lot of time last year speaking with folks in my district and what I heard from honestly more people than I expected to was why haven’t we passed sports gambling yet why can’t we do that in Missouri?”