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Sports Betting Legalization to be priority on Missouri’s agenda

Missouri gambling news

The persistence of multiple Missourians has made sports betting one of the highest priority discussions for Missouri legislators while they convene during their annual session.

Despite the millions of attempts by the residents to access sports gambling sites, the state is yet to legalize sports wagering. Per recently obtained data, between September 1 and December 16, the state blocked approximately 5.7 million attempts by residents to log into gambling sites.

As a result, in order for a punter to place a legal bet, they would have to travel to neighboring states such as Illinois or Kansas.

Per GeoComply information, between November 16 and December 16, around 1,270 devices linked to users were found on both ends of the Kansas border. This means that Missouri was losing out on potential significant state revenue, which could be channeled to other areas, to Kansas.

John Rizzo, the Missouri Senate Minority Leader, was admittedly among these numbers.

“I have absolutely gone to Kansas and made a bet before. I would say the overwhelming majority of sports enthusiasts in the Kansas City area have made a bet in Kansas,” Rizzo said.

This may not continue for much longer if the legislators take a different stance on the topic during their annual session. Legislative leaders from both parties revealed that the public’s interest in legalizing sports betting would place the topic atop the agenda list.

According to Crystal Quade, Democrat House of Minority Leader, the topic of sports betting is one everyone is talking about.

“It is a topic of conversation everywhere I have been,” Quade said.

Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden, who is a Republican, was asked how often the topic of sports betting was brought up, to which he responded, “All the time.”

Jonathan Patterson, the House Majority Leader, revealed that the addition of sports wagering advertisements on televisions and billboards across Kansas City areas served to amplify the topic.

“It is something that a lot of people want to have. It seems a little silly for people in Kansas City to have to go over to the other side and place their bets there,” Patterson said.

The Republican also stated that the lawmakers would likely be pushed to tackle the issue early on as a result of the high public interest and potential revenue boost.

“I would rank it pretty high because of the fact that our citizens obviously want it. There also is a revenue component to it. That money can be used for education. I think the importance is high, and it does provide meaningful revenue,” Patterson continued.

Sports betting legalization is a triangular debate as it will feature a number of conflicting interests. Professional sports teams, as well as casino operators, are eager for the change as it will grant them a sizable share of the sports wagering revenue and will produce a proposal to make that happen.

Video game vendors, on the other end, expect lawmakers to authorize a new lottery game that customers in their various truck shops, bars, and fraternal halls can access and play.

The third conflict of interest is companies currently facing criminal prosecution for running operations in convenience stores and gas stations that include games that pay prize money. These companies oppose any bill that would make their legal status clear.

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