‘Time To Get It Done’ Says Sports Betting Bill’s Author As It Passes 2nd Committee

Written By Phil West on February 15, 2024 - Last Updated on February 16, 2024
A picture of a watch for a story about how the Missouri sports betting house bill passed its second committee

The latest sports betting bill is moving through the Missouri House en route to its more challenging test in the Senate. The legislation could be ready for a full House vote when the session reconvenes on Monday.

Earlier in the week, the bill cleared the House Rules Committee for Administrative Oversight by a 9-1 vote.

State Rep. Dan Houx, author of House Bill 2311, talked to PlayMissouri earlier this week about Missouri citizens’ desire for sports betting to be legalized. He heard from several constituents who watched the Kansas City Chiefs win their second straight Super Bowl on Sunday.

“On Super Bowl Sunday, I finally had to shut my phone off because I was getting so many texts. I definitely wanted to move forward. I’ve listened to my constituents, almost every constituent across the state, just not my own personal district but clear across the state. What happens over the Senate happens in the Senate. Once I get over there, that’s when I’ll start working on that side of the building. I think that we’ve been around too much. We’ve just heard this thing too much. It’s time to get it done.”

Houx highlights missed revenue from Super Bowl betting

In 2023, Houx filed a similar Missouri sports betting bill. The bill cleared the House, but the Senate wouldn’t give it the OK.

Sports betting bills have passed the House during the last two legislative sessions only to languish in the Senate.

Houx talked to PlayMissouri about Kansas City residents traveling to the Kansas side of the border before and even during the Super Bowl to place legal sports bets from their phones.

Houx thinks Missouri lost out on a significant amount of extra revenue from the Super Bowl.

“Sixty-three million Americans bet on the Super Bowl for $23 billion just in that one day.”

The current bill includes a 10% tax on adjusted gross receipts from sportsbooks. As a Republican, Houx prefers taxes to be low as possible. Prior versions of the bill had the rate as low as 8%.

But, Houx said he’s willing to negotiate whatever percentage makes most sense to lawmakers.

“We’re one of 12 states who doesn’t have it. We’re missing out on $34 to $35 million worth of revenue to go to our education fund.”

A study by the General Assembly predicted that tax revenue from Missouri sports betting could bring in nearly $7 million in 2025 and exceed $20 million in 2026.

Several unsuccessful attempts were made by Missourians to bet on Super Bowl

Houx marveled at the number of people who attempted Super Bowl bets while still in Missouri. Geolocation restrictions blocked those attempts. Then there’s the Missouri residents who successfully crossed the border to make bets on their phones. A YouTube video from GeoComply shows all the successful and unsuccessful betting attempts in the Kansas City area on Sunday.

A new Fox4/Emerson College poll shows that 62% of Missouri voters support sports betting in the Show Me State. That led Park University Political Science professor Matt Harris to observe:

“It seems like there’s pretty broad support for sports betting in Missouri.”

Once HB 2311 reaches the Senate, assuming it wins House approval, Houx intends to lobby in that chamber for its passage. One massive barrier remains in place. Once again, state Sen. Denny Hoskins promises to kill any sports betting legislation that does not include legalizing video lottery terminals.

Photo by PlayMissouri
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Phil West

Phil West is a longtime journalist based in Austin, Texas, whose bylines have appeared in The Daily Dot, Nautilus, Pro Soccer USA, Howler, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Antonio Express-News, Austin American-Statesman, and Austin Chronicle. He has also written two books about soccer.

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