Missouri House oversight committee to hear additional sports wagering bills this week


JEFFERSON CITY (MoNet) — A Missouri House oversight committee will hear testimony Tuesday in Jefferson City from the Budget Committee chairman on his proposal involving sports wagering.

The House Special Committee on Government Oversight will hold a Tuesday afternoon hearing on the legislation from House Budget Committee Chairman Cody Smith, R-Carthage.

Under Smith’s 15-page bill, all sports wagering would be conducted on Missouri’s 13’s licensed riverboat casinos, and on the internet.

Chairman Smith’s bill, House Bill 2284, would require the 13 casinos to come up with standards to detect and prevent compulsive gambling. It would also require the casinos to ensure that their surveillance system covers all areas where sports wagering is conducted.

Major League Baseball (MLB) representatives traveled to Jefferson City in November to testify before the Missouri House Special Interim Committee on Gaming. MLB representative Jeremy Kudon testified that Missourians would wager $5.5 billion annually on sports if it’s legalized.

During his November testimony, Kudon predicted that Missouri casino operators would make about $376 million a year from that, and that Missouri would receive about $37 million annually in taxes.

Smith’s bill is different from a separate bill from State Rep. Dan Shaul, R-Imperial, who chaired the interim gaming committee.

The Shaul bill, which is waiting for House floor debate, would legalize sports wagering and slot machines. It would also allow them in “entertainment districts” such as Kansas City’s Power and Light District and the Ballpark Village area in downtown St. Louis.

The Smith bill doesn’t mention slot machines, which have been a controversial issue. The Missouri State Highway Patrol testified in October that the number of complaints it’s received about illegal gambling has increased from 39 in 2018 to at least 145 in 2019. Most of those complaints were about alleged illegal slot machines.

State Rep. Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Peters, has also filed a sports wagering bill. The Christofanelli bill will also be heard Tuesday afternoon by the oversight committee.

The Christofanelli bill is similar to the Shaul bill.

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