Missouri Governor Mike Parson has blocked efforts by the Missouri House to legalize sports betting. Lawmakers returned to the capitol as part of a special session called by the Republican governor to address a proposed cut in state income tax rates.
Also thought to be among the topics for discussion was sports betting. Missouri has seen increasing calls to follow the example of neighboring states and legalize sports betting. Kansas launched its sports betting program earlier this month and has seen great initial results.
16,000 people in Missouri tried to access Kansas’ betting platform on their mobile devices but were blocked by state cybersecurity, according to an analysis by GeoComply.
However, Parson spokeswoman Kelli Jones shot down the idea of the issue even being tabled. She said that means sports betting legislation was irrelevant to the subject of the special session.
Jones commented: “Sports betting is clearly beyond the call and does not relate to Governor Parson’s topics in the call. I do not anticipate sports betting being a part of the special session.”
These remarks came hours before a House panel was set to debate the latest version of a sports wagering package. This bill was almost identical to one that failed to advance in the Senate during the spring legislative session.
The rejected bill advocated for sports betting in the state’s existing casinos, and for professional sports teams like the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team and the St. Louis Blues hockey team to have betting windows at their facilities.
Other provisions include application fees of up to $150,000 for providers, a tax rate of 10% of adjusted gross receipts and an annual license renewal fee no larger than $50,000.
Lawmakers in the House were displeased with the governor’s decision. Representative Dan Houx commented: “Missouri is losing out on revenue,” while Representative Aune was also succinct in saying: “Missouri should have done this already.“