A bill seeking to legalize sports betting in Missouri managed to get the approval of the state House in March. Now, it is very likely for the local lawmakers to add a provision regarding the implementation of a higher tax rate, if such a measure is debated and passed in the Senate.
So far, no specific number has been revealed but Dan Hegeman, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said that he would like to see the tax rate exceed 8%.
According to Senator Denny Hoskins, the proposed tax rate was too low. He explained that the piece of legislation he has tabled, which includes a tax rate of 21% for the sports betting industry, estimates the expected annual revenue from the new form of gambling to be approximately $153 million. On the other hand, the current House Bill, which sets an 8% tax rate for sports betting, has unveiled expectations for annual revenue worth about $10 million and also includes promotional cost deductions.
Senator Hoskins believes that his bill would provide the state of Missouri with a major difference, while the aforementioned House bill would give the advantage to local casinos. He further reminded that the only US state featuring a lower tax rate than the one proposed in Missouri is Iowa, which currently features a 6.75% tax rate for sports wagering services.
Apart from the potential addition of a higher tax rate for the sports wagering services, some Committee members shared they were not pleased with certain provisions of the House Bill.
Representative Dan Houx spoke to the committee and noted that the proposed piece of legislation promotes efforts that are set to result in the creation of gambling addiction awareness and self-exclusion systems. He further noted that gambling operators in the state will be required to submit a plan to address problem gambling and get educated on the factors that usually lead to gambling addiction, but Senator Denny Hoskins pointed out that the funding of problem gambling treatment is simply not enough. Hoskins claimed that $250,000 that is supposed to fund gambling addiction treatment is simply not enough, especially in comparison to other US states that devote millions to this practice.
Local Sports Organizations Support Proposed Legalization of Sports Betting in Missouri
Recently, the legalization of sports betting in Missouri and the current House Bill have been supported by local sports organizations, such as St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs.
The president of the Missouri Pro Sports Team Coalition and the St. Louis Cardinals, Bill DeWitt III, has confirmed that all teams in the Coalition – the Cardinals and Chiefs, St. Louis City Soccer Club, St. Louis Blues, KC Current, and Kansas City Royals – back the proposed sports betting expansion in the state as a way to boost the engagement of their fanbase. Apart from that, he believes such a move would provide sports fans with a new and exciting way to enjoy their favorite sports.
One other topic that was discussed by the Senate Appropriations Committee was the potential move of the Kansas City Chiefs to Kansas.
The representative of the club, Anne Scharf provided some information about the latest developments and tried to put an end to the speculation about the move, saying that the franchise has taken all options into consideration. One of the main reasons why such a move is considered, in the first place, is the poor state of Arrowhead Stadium. The Kansas City Chiefs have a lease for the stadium for 9 more years and Ms. Scharf confirmed that the club will honor the agreement.