Missouri mulls legalising sports betting on boats

11 February 2019

Missouri Senator Denny Hoskins has introduced a new bill that could lead to the legalisation of sports betting on designated gambling boats in the US state.

SB 44 would enable consumers to bet in-person on licensed excursion boats and also online via an interactive platform, with a requirement to first register in-person.

Licences to offer online sports wagering services would cost an initial $10,000 (£7,800/€8,800), as well as an annual renewal fee of $5,000.

Gaming facilities would face a 12% tax on the adjusted gross receipts received from sports bets, in addition to an administrative fee of 2.5% on betting receipts. The latter would be deposited into the Gaming Commission Fund, 80% of which would be transferred to the Veterans’ Commission Capital Improvement Trust Fund.

In addition, licensees would pay a further administrative fee of 0.5% of the gross amount wagered on sports events to the Commission at least once per quarter in order to support sporting facilities in the state.

These funds would be deposited in the Entertainment Facilities Infrastructure Fund and used for solely the construction and maintenance of entertainment structures, fixtures, systems, and facilities including,

The bill also sets out measures to allow consumers to exclude themselves from taking part in sports betting activities with licensees. Operators would need to carry out checks to ensure they do not accept self-excluded players.

Others measures include a requirement for operators to a conduct background check on all newly hired employees and annual background checks on existing employees, as well as prohibit all staff from placing bets on sporting events.

The Missouri Gaming Commission would assume responsibility for regulating all sports betting activities, with the ability to designate a state law enforcement entity to support investigations into abnormal betting activity, match fixing, or other conduct that corrupts wagering.

Should the bill progress into law, it would come into effect from August 28 of this year.

Missouri is currently considering a number of bills that would legalise sports betting in some form.

Introduced in December, Bill H 119, would permit sports betting in land-based venues, as well as on-premises interactive wagering, and also includes plans to pay a so-called royalty fees to US professional sports leagues and the National Collegiate Athletics Association.

Bill S 327 and 222 are similar to S 44 in that they also propose legalising sports betting on boats and via the internet, while S 187 would extend this to mobile sports wagering.

In addition, S 195 would repeal the prohibition on sports betting in Missouri and allow wagering on excursion gambling boats, but does not make any reference to betting over the internet.

Image: Thomas R Machnitzki