A new bill seeking to legalise sports wagering and video lottery terminals (VLTs) in Missouri has cleared the state’s House Special Committee (HCS).
Sponsored by State Representative Dan Shaul, the 31-page House Bill 2088 will now proceed to the House floor for further debate.
HB 2088 sets out proposals to legalise land-based, mobile and online sports betting in Missouri, with only licensed facilities permitted to offer wagering. Operators would need to pay an initial $25,000 to apply for a licence.
The bill said that licensed operators would be able to contract a third party to conduct sports wagering at their facility and interactive betting, but only if they were also to secure a licence.
However, the bill also noted that interactive wagering licenses would only be valid for 12 months, with operators required to pay an annual renewal fee of $50,000 to continue the license for another year.
A wagering tax of 9% would also be imposed on adjusted gross receipts received from sports wagering conducted by license-holders. Revenue from tax would be deposited in the new Gaming Proceeds for Education Fund.
The Missouri Gaming Commission would have responsibility for distributing the licenses for sports betting.
Meanwhile, in terms of VLTs, licenses for this type of gambling would run for a period of four years and differ in price, depending on the holder.
For video lottery game manufacturers, distributors and operators, these licenses would cost no more than $15,000, while video lottery game retailer establishments would pay $500. Licenses for video lottery game handlers would cost no more than $100.
Renewal costs for each license-holder would also differ, with the first group to be subject to a fee of no more than $5,000, then $500 for each retailer establishment and $50 for handlers.
Licensed video lottery game manufacturers would be permitted to buy, sell or lease new or refurbished VLTs to and from licensed distributors. Operators would also be able to buy, sell or lease these machines from distributors.
However, the bill did not make clear the tax implication for VLT activities in the state.