JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Sen. Denny Hoskins and Rep. Dean Plocher announced Tuesday they will be filing a bill introducing the Comprehensive Missouri Sport Betting and Sports Protection Act.
Supporters say proposed legislation will authorize sports betting in Missouri’s riverboat casinos and on the internet, while implementing consumer protections and sports integrity requirements. This bill would mirror federal law if the existing gambling law of 1993 that currently prohibits these actions is repealed.
“It’s been estimated that illegal sports betting takes place to the tune of nearly $3 billion dollars a year in Missouri,” Hoskins said. “The time has come to stop pretending a problem doesn’t exist, and bring this activity into the sunlight, create some oversight, while bringing in new revenue to the state as well as jobs and economic activity at our casinos. But we have to do this the right way, and that means strict, anti-fraud requirements and tight coordination with the sports leagues to ensure Missourians can remain confident games are being played with integrity.”
Under this bill, supporters believe consumer protections and safeguards would ensure that any sports betting operator is licensed and the legislation requires the Gaming Commission to designate a specific law enforcement entity to oversee any behavior that violates the integrity of the sporting event.
Plocher said if passed, Missouri could potentially put an end to illegal sports gambling and create strong regulations to ensure consumers are protected and ensure sports games cannot be compromised.
“If federal law changes to allow states to authorize sports betting, Missouri should be leading the nation in implementing an intelligent and controlled/monitored sports betting market,” Plocher said. “We are one of the biggest sports states in the country and have a robust and effective gaming network at our casinos – so we are as well positioned as any state to implement sports betting.”
The legislation also allows a sport’s governing body to limit or restrict betting on their own sports and requires that betting operators retain all information regarding bets for three years.
In addition, the legislation includes a 1 percent integrity fee to be paid to the sport’s governing bodies. This administrative fee pays for the sport’s governing body’s cost of maintaining the integrity of its sporting events. The legislation also creates penalties for those found guilty of match-fixing and any action associated with the corruption of a sporting event.
Rachael Herndon was the editor at The Missouri Times and also produced This Week in Missouri Politics, published Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosted the #MoLeg podcast. She joined The Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.