The main backer of sports betting in Missouri will try again next year.

State Rep. Dan Houx, R-Warrensburg, represents portions of Johnson County in in the Missouri House. This would be the third year in a row he’s sponsored a bill to legalize sports betting, which was blocked in the Missouri Senate by fellow Republican Denny Hoskins earlier this year and last year, too.

“Well, you never know,” Houx told Missourinet. “With any bill, roadblocks sometimes can end up going away, so to speak. So, you know, he might have a change of heart towards it, especially with the ballot initiative that’s been put out there – uh, a couple different ballot initiatives.”

Actually, 12 separate initiative petitions that would enshrine sports betting in the Missouri Constitution have been approved for circulation. Houx said if he cannot pass his bill next year, he will support a ballot measure.

“If we’re not able to get it done and the ballot initiative is in front of me come August or November, I have no problem voting on it because I’ve carried the bill in the past,” he said. “I will support a ballot initiative if that’s what has to be done at the end of the day.”

The Missouri House has passed sports betting two years in a row, only to see it blocked in the Senate by Hoskins, who insists it be paired with regulating video slot machines.

Copyright 2023, Missourinet.