Missouri lawmakers in the state Senate have not reached a deal on sports betting. It’s been a contentious issue for years and lawmakers have been feeling the increased pressure from residents and colleagues alike to get something across the finish line since the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl and with March Madness in the rearview mirror.
This version of the bill did not include regulating video lottery machines, despite several repeated attempts to chalk it on.
Missouri Senate leadership held their weekly news conference on Thursday. Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, addressed the fact that lawmakers couldn’t reach a conclusion – and what the odds are of a sports betting bill passing this session.
“If it was just a standalone bill, the two things were separate, moving separately, I don’t know if the will would be any different,” he admitted. “It’s like anything else, if you have 18 votes, you can do whatever you want in this place, but clearly, they don’t. We’ll see what happens. I don’t have a good plan for a path on that. Either they’re going to sit or they’re not. The odds? Not good, unfortunately.”
Rowden expressed frustration on the floor Wednesday night, saying he wants this debate to end and will vote on the bill, regardless of whether it includes regulating video lottery machines.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo,D-Independence, placed blame on the Republican Party.
“Yesterday sports books was again blocked,” Rizzo explained. It does not help that the Republican Party platform, one of the only concise things in the Republican Party platform, is there’s no expansion of gaming in the state of Missouri. There are some people out there that are trying to work through the process, but you do have a handful that could make a difference that just will not agree with any sort of expansion of gaming due to the Republican Party platform.”
Some of the additions to this version of the gaming bill includes a proposal that would increase the tax rate from 10% to 15% for education. It also would raise the admission fee casinos pay per person from $2 to $4 with the fees going to Missouri veterans’ homes and cemeteries.
Other amendments added to the bill would require casinos to pay admission fees for people who place an online bet over a two-hour period. The revenue of that would also go towards Missouri’s veterans’ homes and cemeteries.
Click here for more information on Senate Bill 30.
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