Luetkemeyer prefiles VLT-less Missouri sports betting bill

Missouri sports betting bill Luetkemeyer
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By the time the legislative session gets underway in Missouri on Jan.5, there will inevitably be multiple sports betting bills across both chambers. As previously reported, Sen. Denny Hoskins prefiled a bill, SB1, which ties together the legalization of video lottery terminals (VLTs) and online and retail sports betting at state casinos.

Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer pre-filed his legislation, SB30, at the start of December. His bill would task the Missouri Gaming Commission to oversee retail and online betting licensed through state casinos as well as state sporting venues. Luetkemeyer seeks to establish “sports districts” in the immediate area outside a stadium or arena of a professional sports team in the state. These teams could then partner with an online betting operator to offer online sports betting while customers are within that district.

Casinos would each get up to three skins to offer online betting. With 13 casinos in the state, that would open the door for nearly 40 operators. By comparison, Kansas, which legalized sports betting in September, only has six operators.

The bill proposes an upfront licensing fee of $100,000 for the venue as well as a $150,000 fee for the online platform. The online platform would renew that license annually at a cost of no more than $125,000. The tax rate would be 10%.

Additionally, this bill would require the legislature to appropriate $500,000 a year from the Gaming Commission Fund to go toward the Compulsive Gambling Fund.

Luetkemeyer told the Platte County Landmark that, since this bill is one of the first three he pre-filed, it should get into committee fairly quickly. He filed a similar bill last year, but thinks with Kansas legalizing sports betting, the pressure is on for lawmakers to act this year.

“I feel more optimistic about the chances of the bill getting a floor vote this session,” he told the publication.

While it may get to the floor for a vote, Hoskins could very well force the VLT issue by either filibustering or tacking on amendments to make the legislation untenable. Additionally, with more bills to come related to sports betting, the chance of competition or consolidation is fairly high.