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Competing sports betting bills pre-filed in Missouri


Senators in Missouri have pre-filed two proposals to regulate sports betting in the state, which will be discussed when the legislature returns on January 8, 2020.

Senator Denny Hoskins appears to have resurrected the key elements of a proposal he put forward during the 2019 legislative session with Senate Bill 567, which looks to legalize betting on riverboat casinos and via internet platforms. 

Riverboat gambling operators and internet platform providers will need to secure authorisation from the Missouri Gaming Commission, which will require an application fee of $25,000. The internet platform providers would then have to pay an annual renewal fee of $50,000.

Licensees will face a monthly tax amounting to 9% of gross receipts, lower than the 12% proposed in Hoskins’ previous bill. A further 0.25% of quarterly handle must be paid to the US professional sports leagues, described as a “royalty fee”, with the same amount going to the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA).

The rival proposal filed by Senator William Blaine Luetkemeyer, SB754, is similar to Hoskins’ bill in that it aims to legalize betting on riverboat gambling vessels and via online platforms, but differs in terms of the taxes and fees set out. 

SB754, for example, reduces the application fee to $10,000, while the annual renewal fee drops to $5,000. The tax rate is also cut, to 6.25% of gross receipts. 

However, it proposes a higher so-called royalty fee for professional and collegiate sports bodies. Luetkemeyer pitches a fee equalling 0.75% of handle, which would go to the US professional leagues and NCAA.

Each bill will await the start of the 2020 legislative session in January next year, when they will be assigned to a Senate committee for further scrutiny. In each case, they propose making the regulatory framework effective from August 28, 2020 should they pass into law.