Missouri Lawmakers Make Push To Legalize Online Sports Gambling

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Two Missouri lawmakers have introduced bills to legalize online sports gambling in the state.

State House Rep. Phil Christofanelli (R) and state Senate Rep. Tony Luetkemeyer (R) have introduced bills in their respective chambers to allow for mobile sports wagering.

Both proposed the bills in late 2021 for the legislative session that began in January.

If both bills pass, Gov. Michael Parson (R) would need to sign the potential legislation in order for it to become law.

Both Christofanelli and Luetkemeyer have introduced sports betting bills that have failed in the past.

Legalization in Missouri is estimated to bring about $40 million to $50 million in tax revenue to the state, which it could use to buoy schools and social services.

Supporters of the legislation tout not only the extra tax revenue that will benefit Missouri residents, but also the reduction in profits for illegal gambling enterprises.

Christofanelli's proposal would call for a $100,000 upfront fee for sports betting licenses, a $50,000 renewal fee every two years and a 10% tax on sportsbook profits.

There are not currently any legal sportsbooks in the state of Missouri.

Roughly 20 states have legalized online sports gambling in some form since a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court case ruled the federal ban on sports betting as unconstitutional.

One of those states includes New York, which launched in early January to the tune of nearly $58 million in tax revenue for its residents in less than a month.

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