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Missouri Sports Betting – Latest Legal Updates
The issue of legal sports betting apps in Missouri may have been put to rest for another year, but the prevailing sentiment suggests that it's not a matter of whether the state will legalize sports betting but rather when.
This sentiment is rooted in the legislative activity and strong support from key stakeholders within the state, including casinos and sports teams. Expectations are high, and local bettors and supporters are not quite ready to give up yet.
Missouri Sports Betting – The Latest
On May 12, 2023, the Missouri legislature concluded its session without enacting a sports betting bill.
Although the bill had gained approval in the House with ease, it faced substantial opposition in the Senate, resulting in the continued absence of legalized sports betting in Missouri.
There is external pressure at play when it comes to the resistance of opening to a sports betting market. Missouri finds itself surrounded by states where sports betting is already legal, with five out of the eight neighboring states having previously embraced it.
Additionally, both Nebraska and Kentucky have passed legislation in this regard. The only neighboring state that has not legalized sports betting is Oklahoma.
With the launch of legal sports betting in Kansas in 2022 and Illinois prior to that, the two largest cities in Missouri now have online sportsbooks within convenient driving distance.
Could We See Sports Betting on 2024 Ballot?
After completing the legalization process, Missouri must navigate the regulatory and licensing procedures. The efficiency of this process varies from state to state, with some states handling it more effectively than others.
Tennessee, for example, experienced significant delays and over a year's wait before launching sports betting. However, a noteworthy development occurred on September 8 when four sports betting petitions were submitted to the Missouri Secretary of State.
These petitions aim to authorize both retail and online sports betting by allowing the voters to decide. If approved, there is the potential for sports betting legalization to appear on the ballot for the November 2024 general election in Missouri.
The latest possible rollout for sports betting in the state, as outlined in the petitions, would be December 31, 2025. That leaves 2024 as a year with high probability of seeing Sports Betting on the Ballot.
A Look at Potential MO Betting Markets
During the 2023 session in Missouri, the bills being considered opened the door for a multitude of sports betting apps to enter the market.
The state's 13 casinos would have had the opportunity to offer up to three different apps each, and certain sports teams could have formed partnerships with sportsbook apps to provide enticing sports betting promotions.
In total, there could have been provisions for over 40 apps to launch, although it remains uncertain whether Missouri can support such a high number.
First, a provider like FanDuel Sportsbook would most likely make its way to the top of the list of providers available in the state. FanDuel is present in the state as a daily fantasy sports provider.
The brand is also associated with Boyd Gaming, which actually owns casinos in Missouri.
FanDuel has a track record of swift entry into new legal sports betting markets. DraftKings is also a familiar name in Missouri due to its DFS offerings and operates the closest land-based sportsbook to Missouri at Casino Queen in East St. Louis, Illinois.
Other providers such as Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM Sportsbook and BetRivers Sportsbook could make their way into the state market as well.