State Rep. Dan Houx, R-Warrensburg, is not giving up. He is again sponsoring a bill that would legalize sports betting. The measure has repeatedly been blocked in the Senate by fellow Warrensburg Republican Denny Hoskins.
Houx told a Missouri House committee that revenue from the measure could bring in about $35 million to education from the proposed 10%.
“With revenues declining would be a big help right now,” Houx said. “It allows the sports teams, mobile operators and the casinos to have skins, and those skins can be sold to whoever or whichever groups they want to. The fees range from $100,000 and $350,000.”
Houx said that if he cannot pass his bill this year, he will support a ballot measure that seeks to legalize sports gambling.
But, even if it does pass the Missouri House this year, it appears legalizing sports wagering will not make it to the governor’s desk. That’s according to Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, who said that he will be putting the foot down on the bill if it makes its way to the Missouri Senate.
“No, I’m putting the kibosh on that,” said Sen. Rowden. “I’m not, but I don’t think it’s going to pass.”
Despite that, Houx has the support of some powerful people hoping that it gets passed, including St. Louis Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III. DeWitt expressed frustration at the bill not passing because of the amount of Missourians flocking to online sports betting.
“Particularly this time of year, like with the NFL and the playoffs, you’ll see the geolocating companies noticing just thousands of accounts and activity across,” said DeWitt. “They try to do it in this state, but then it gets blocked. What it does is it drives participants to the illegal marketplace, which is untaxed and unregulated, which is also exploding in Missouri.”
On the other side of that are those who are strongly against the legalization of sports wagering, including Bob Priddy, who called it irresponsible fiscal policy.
“The state is guaranteed to be a loser with the very first bet,” Priddy said. “Here’s how it will work, our casinos pay a 21% tax on wagering that we now have, slot machines and table games. Now they want a 10% rate. We’re losing 11 percentage points to win 10 in this bill.”
The bill could be passed out of a House committee soon.
Click here for more information on the bill.
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