Bipartisan sports wagering legislation is now heading to the Missouri Senate, after being approved by the House on a 118-35 vote.
The 23-page House Bill 556 taxes sports wagering at ten percent. State Rep. Dan Houx (R-Warrensburg) tells 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri” that the Show-Me State is losing tax dollars to neighboring states.
“But it’s most the residual tax revenue we’re losing out. When people go to Kansas or Illinois or Iowa, wherever they go and they spend money in those other states, that’s (the) revenue we’re really missing out on. Besides the tax revenue of bet placed,” Representative Houx says.
Gambling opponents like State Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch (R-Hallsville) worry about compulsive gambling. Other opponents worry people will gamble their rent money.
“You know I listen to people like Cheri, I listen to Representative Ben Baker from down south (southwest Missouri’s Neosho) and he was concerned about compulsive gambling. We put $500,000 in there (the bill) to make sure that we’re able to protect people if they have problems. On the mobile apps, it’s a self opt-in or opt-out of being able to do it. Once you opt-out, you’re blocked from that account forever”
Representative Houx, who chairs the Missouri House Fiscal Review Committee, tells “Wake Up” that Chiefs fans from Missouri have traveled to Kansas to place bets on NFL games.
“During the Chiefs-Bengals (playoff) game back in January, around Arrowhead (Stadium) alone, just around the parking lot and inside Arrowhead, there were 4,557 bets attempted to be made during that timeframe. That same day in Kansas, there was 1.14 million bets made. (The) majority of them were around the state line of Kansas”
Under the bill, you would have to be at least 21 years old to place bets. Sports wagering would be taxed at ten percent, and the revenues would be placed in the “Gaming Proceeds for Education Fund.”
The Associated Press reports 33 states and the District of Columbia now offer some form of sports wagering.
Click here to listen to the full “Wake Up Mid-Missouri” interview with State Rep. Dan Houx (R-Warrensburg).