January 26, 2024 Less than a minute read

Sports wagering bill garners widespread support again

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Several legislators have resumed their efforts to have Missouri join nearly 40 other states in legalizing sports betting in 2024, with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry among a long list of supporters.

Rep. Dan Houx (R-Warrensburg) introduced HB 2331 in the House Special Committee on Public Policy. He said the current version of the bill is similar to what has been debated multiple times and has been passed by the House in recent years. The legislation creates a regulatory framework under the auspices of the Missouri Gaming Commission and delegates funds to assist with problem gambling.

“The (annual) revenue of $35 million would go to the education fund,” he stated.

Representatives of the state’s professional sports franchises, players’ associations and casinos all testified in support. Bill DeWitt, III, president of the St. Louis Cardinals, noted that if legislative efforts are not successful this year, an initiative petition process will be implemented.

Thirty-eight states currently allow sports betting. There have been millions of attempts in Missouri to place sports wagers on legal betting sites based in other states. These unsuccessful attempts drive people to travel to other states or participate in illegal betting markets.

Phillip Arnzen, director of legislative affairs for the Missouri Chamber, said, “A lot of people are crossing state lines. We believe this economic activity should take place in Missouri.”

Those who go to other states to place their bets also frequent local businesses there, diverting additional revenue from small businesses in Missouri and tax revenues for the state.

For more information, contact Arnzen at parnzen@mochamber.com or call 573-634-3511. 


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