HomePlay BallMissouri Committee Considers Sports Betting Bill

Missouri Committee Considers Sports Betting Bill

The Missouri legislature's Special Interim Committee on Gaming recently took testimony from sports betting representatives. All supported mobile registration and wagering, a competitive tax structure, no mandates on official league data and no integrity fee.

In Missouri, the legislature’s Special Interim Committee on Gaming held a hearing on sports betting with testimony from lawyers and research company representatives and officials from FanDuel, DraftKings, Boyd Gaming, Penn National Gaming and William Hill. State Rep. Dan Shaul, the committee chairman, said everyone in attendance supported mobile wagering, online registration, no limits on markets or teams, a competitive tax structure and no mandate requiring use of official league data or an integrity fee. Last year a failed sports betting bill in Missouri was one of the few in the nation to include such a fee.

Committee member state Rep. Wes Rogers stated, “I very much support legalized sports betting. I think it’s insane that something happens this blatantly, this regularly that we’re not regulating it, we’re not taxing it, we’re not making sure players are getting fair play. It’s time to do it.”

Chris Krafcik, managing director of sports betting and emerging markets at Eilers & Krejcik, said if Missouri allows land-based and mobile sports betting without in-person registration, it could expect $289 million in annual revenue when the market matures. Without mobile betting, that figure drops to $95 million. Krafcik also recommended a $100,000 licensing fee and 10 percent tax on sports betting revenue, the same as West Virginia.

Chris Cipolla, senior manager of government affairs at DraftKings, noted most of the company’s customers in Rhode Island place wagers within minutes of getting their account approved. He added in-person registration gives customers less choice, since the closest casino might not use the sportsbook operator a customer wants.

Regarding paying leagues for data, Penn National Head of Sportsbook Scot McClintic said the company already compensates the leagues through its deal with Sportradar, which provides Penn National with official data from the NFL, NBA and MLB. McClintic said companies should have the right to buy additional items, like the right to use trademarks, from the leagues but that shouldn’t be required. He noted those fees could trickle down to the customers.

Both the Boyd and Penn National representatives said they couldn’t assure they’d open sportsbooks in Missouri if the legislation includes an integrity fee. They also said they would not exchange sports betting for an expanded video lottery terminal market, which the committee also is considering.

The committee will meet again on November 7 and take testimony from Major League Baseball.

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