Bets during Baseball Season 

Sports Betting on Track to Legalization in Missouri … But VLT’s are Putting up a Roadblock

There’s good news for Missouri residents who would like to see legal sports betting in their state. Three bills that legalize sports betting were passed in state legislative committees. One is SB30, sponsored by State Sen. Tony Luekemeyer. He’s proposed legalized sports betting in the past, but is hopeful this bill will pass.

“It would allow each of the casinos in the state to have a physical sportsbook where somebody could place a bet at a window and be able to watch games in the environment,” he told FOX4.

His bill also allows mobile betting. Fans can place a bet on the Kansas City Chiefs or St. Louis Cardinals by using an app.

Losing Money

Neighboring states Kansas and Illinois allow legal sports betting. Missouri is losing money when residents make a sports bet in those states.

“We’re losing educational dollars to Kansas and Illinois that would normally go to Missouri schools,” he told FOX4 out of Kansas City. “What that means is the funds that are normally earmarked for our K-12 schools are leaving Missouri and going to stabilize schools in Illinois and Kansas.”

When the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl, Missouri residents made 250,000 attempts to bet on the game online. But all were blocked because sports betting isn’t allowed in Missouri, according to Sean Ostrow, a lobbyist for the Sports Betting Alliance, which represents BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and Fanatics.

Legal VLT’s

Luetkemeyer’s bill passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee. State Sen. Denny Hoskin’s did not. His SB1 would have legalized sports betting and video lottery terminals, which are prevalent in gas stations and bars.

Luetkemeyer told FOX4 the VLT’s wouldn’t have the regulation that’s needed.

“When you put these gaming devices in places that don’t have 24-hour security, that don’t have cameras that casinos are required to have, there’s a risk that minors are going to get access to things they’re not supposed to,” he said.

No Support

Representatives from Missouri’s professional sports teams urged state lawmakers to get moving on legal sports betting. But they did support VLT’s.

“We support the sports betting piece. As for the VLT piece, to the extent that it would make it harder for this bill to pass … we will not support it,” said St. Louis Cardinals president Bill DeWitt. “Our position is that we’d like to see the two issues bifurcated.”

Hoskins believes sports betting is DOA if he doesn’t have a VLT component. He would tax sports betting at 10% and VLT’s at 36%. He estimated that would bring in $250 million in revenue.

For Veterans

“Unfortunately. sportsbook wagering doesn’t provide any money to our veteran’s homes and cemeteries,” he said FOX4. “As a veteran with a veteran’s home and ceremony in my district, we need to honor our commitment to Missouri veterans. The only ones who get rich on sportsbooks are the casinos. However, regulated VLT’s would provide up to $15 million for our veteran’s homes and cemeteries. I will continue to work with my colleagues on a path forward.”

Owner Steve Stegall of The Blue Line Hockey Bar in Kansas City’s River Market favors legalized VLT’s.

“That would help the small man … help us get a piece of the action,”

he told FOX4.

He’d like to see sports betting to come to Missouri.

“It would help sports bars,”

he told FOX4.

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