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December 17 -- The New Federalism
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HomeSpotlight Story | Bird’s Eye View | Budget & Taxes | Politics & Leadership | Governors | Hot Issues | Once Around the Statehouse Lightly
Missouri is among a handful of states that will consider becoming the next to legalize betting on sports, with legislation filed this past week considered among those with strong odds for success.
Bills to legalize sports bets have also already been pre-filed in Virginia, Kentucky, and in Tennessee, where it was filed early enough to get the bill number HB 1.
Tennessee may be the long shot of the latest interested states, though. There aren’t any casinos or racetracks in the Volunteer State, so who might apply for a license is unclear. And Gov.-elect Bill Lee (R) said during the campaign he opposes legalizing sports betting.
New York will also be closely watched. Legislation to legalize betting failed in Albany last year, but Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D) recently told Legal Sports Report he will refile sports betting legislation in January.
In Missouri, legislation by Sen. Denny Hoskins (R) authorizes sports betting, and the House sponsor of last year’s failed effort in the Show Me State said he thinks the bill will generate interest.
“I certainly anticipate it being out there for discussion before the House and the Senate,” Rep. Dean Plocher (R) told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Missouri has 13 casinos that are interested in the market, and backers there have pushed for the tax revenue from sports betting to go to education. The Associated Press reported that while Gov. Mike Parson (R) isn’t leading the charge to legalize sports betting, a spokesman said he isn’t opposed to the idea either. Analysts cited by the industry blog Legal Gambling and the Law estimate Missouri’s sports betting market could be worth $60 million.
Hoskins’ bill in Missouri currently calls for a 12 percent tax on gross receipts from wagering, and a $10,000 application fee for licenses to run sports books.
Legislation in Virginia envisions a 15 percent tax rate, and a $250,000 licensing fee for up to five sports books. Kentucky’s measure, by Sen. Julian Carroll (D), would only put a 3 percent tax on the handle, along with a $250,000 licensing fee. Tennessee would impose a 10 percent tax with a $7,500 license fee. (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, ASSOCIATED PRESS, SPORTS HANDLE, CASINO.ORG, LEGAL SPORTS REPORT)