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Missouri Revenue Estimates Rise As Lawmakers Consider Sports Betting

Everyone has seen the amount of wealth that sports betting has brought to a few places in the United States. As Missouri begins to decide the fate of sports betting, recent estimates of how much it stands to make keep rising. As the Show-Me State continues to wait, it becomes harder to pass it up.

On Thursday, in a presentation with a panel of lawmakers, a gambling industry consultant said that legal sports betting could create up to $289 million in wagers once fully operational.

Chris Krafcik, managing director for political and regulatory affairs for Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, said that his estimate is based on what is happening in other states and how that relates to Missouri.

That massive $289 million valuation is exponentially larger than the $58 million in revenue state analysts said would be taken in when discussed earlier this year. Though it should be noted that this earlier estimate was done before sports betting was only available to a certain number of states.

Now that more states are in the mix, it’s starting to show how many people are really interested in sports betting.

Who Gets What

Missouri lawmakers have been at this debate for over two years on whether to join the sports-betting craze that has taken over the United States. Mainly, the hold-up has been due to how the money will get split up between the government, casinos, sports leagues, companies that provide the sports betting, and other avenues. Even the state lottery wants a piece of the action.

Neighboring states like Kansas and Illinois are set to unveil their own sports betting plans within their states, so the time is certainly now for Missouri to strike while the iron is hot.

“We’re excited about the prospect of legalization in Missouri,” said Stace Stern, manager of governmental affairs for FanDuel, which provides a platform for wagering on sports.

During testimony to the committee on Thursday, gambling operators stated that a big delay in this whole process is that sports leagues are insistent on getting a percentage of the revenue gained from sports betting. Casinos and sportsbooks are already making money on these games.

Reps from the St. Louis Cardinals and Major League Baseball said that they both wanted a one-percent piece of all bets made on their games. In their stance, MLB claims the money gained would go to ensuring the game would still have integrity, meaning people still have a grim feeling about sports betting. No other states have agreed to pay integrity fees.

Last but not least, the question of whether to use mobile betting or wagering at casinos that already have gambling exists. St. Louis attorney Mark Balestra believes that would be a huge mistake and mean a sizeable cut in tax revenue.

“We’re going to be missing the boat,” said Rep. Robert Ross, R-Yukon.

Unfortunately, as we’ve seen in Rhode Island, the previous plan called for people to sign up for mobile betting at the physical location first. Hopefully they change that because people certainly don’t want to do that.

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