The remaining bill in the Senate was not discussed and thus, it did not pass. This is despite hopes that some of the long-standing issues would be resolved.
Rep. Dan Houx’s HB556 was approved by the Missouri House of Representatives in March, after a 118 to 35 bipartisan vote. The bill was not very active when it reached the Senate.
Early April, HB556 went to the Senate. It was then referred to Appropriations Committee where it remained until the end of the legislative session last week. The Show Me State, despite its proximity to live states, will not be able to legalize sports betting.
What was in HB556?
The bill, which is the third sports gambling bill to be introduced in Missouri this year, would have allowed boat casinos to partner up to three online operators in order to power their interactive offering.
HB556 allows sports teams to partner with three operators, allowing them to have three official partners in sports betting within the state.
If the bill had passed, there would have been 10% tax on any positive “adjusted Gross Receipts” that an operator generated. Free play or promotional credits could be deducted in the first year from the AGR. This would then reduce to 25% every year up until the fifth year.
Why did Missouri sports gambling fail in 2023
It has taken a long time to bring sports gambling to Missouri, even though seven of its neighboring states offer it in some way. It is not a new thing that the bill failed in the Senate. HB2556 had the same fate back in 2022.
In Missouri, there is a longstanding and prohibitive context. Sen. Denny Hoskins insists that no sports gambling bill will pass without VLTs. HB556 doesn’t include them.
Hoskins filibustered, and filed his bills to ensure VLTs were tied to sports betting. His attempts to stop any legislation that did not include VLTs has been successful.
Missourians are certainly interested in sports betting. There were several bills introduced in Missouri in 2023, including HB556, which was supported by both casinos and sports teams. However, the legislation simply failed to meet the ambition.
GeoComply, on the consumer side has reported that it has blocked nearly nine millions betting attempts coming from Missouri in the 2022 NFL Season. They must either travel across state lines, or wait until next year at least to be able to participate in sports betting.