Last week, state Sen. President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, said the odds are not good on a sports betting bill passing in the Senate this session.

This week, state Rep. Dan Houx, R-Warrensburg, signaled that there might be a breakthrough soon. Houx and Sen. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg, both have their own sports betting bills.

“I’m working with Senator Hoskins,” said Houx. “We had a meeting this week. I’m very optimistic that we’re going to come to agreement to get it done. As everybody knows, it’s kind of been hinging on Senator Hoskins, so I’m going to keep working on. That’s where we’re at.”

Hoskins has a bill that would regulate video lottery machines. Houx said he opposes adding that provision.

“Well I think the VLT discussion’s off the board,” said Houx. “We saw what happened in the Senate last week. It went down in flames. I think right now it’s come down to the fees, the tax rate, and making sure we get what people want in the state. Everybody wants sports gambling. They don’t want – or they haven’t talked about VLTs.”

Several bills to legalize sports betting have been filed this session, including by Reps. Phil Christofanelli and Dave Griffith, as well as Sens. Tony Luetkemeyer and Nick Schroer.

More than 30 states have legalized sports betting.

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