Luetkemeyer and Rizzo aren’t alone in their desire to make Missouri the new hub of gambling in central North America. Rep. Phil Christofanelli (R-St. Peters) introduced HB 581, Wednesday, the first day of the House’s 2023 session, which also calls for the legalization of sports gambling.
Christofanelli has been campaigning for the creation of the market for a while. Last winter, he told 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Columbia” that a plan he was sponsoring would have added $15m in revenue to the state kitty.
“[Sports betting] is a topic of conversation everywhere I have been,” said House Minority Leader Crystal Quade (D-Springfield).
As hard as it will be for legislators to ignore the growing momentum of the sports gambling community, they will also be wary of the problems that have persisted. Operators are under fire in states like New York and Ohio for abusing “predatory” language while advertising promotions.
Companies have also been hit with hefty fines for a variety of infractions. For example, Barstool was found guilty of advertising its sportsbook during an event at Toledo University in Ohio, while BetMGM was fined $146,000 for accepting bets before the Maryland market launched.
Missouri, specifically Kansas City, also has a reason for optimism. The Chiefs’ dominance in the NFL means that locals will have a team to get behind for years to come, or as long as megastar quarterback Patrick Mahomes stays healthy.
The Chiefs are the favorites to win this year’s Super Bowl at +380 on FanDuel sportsbook. For reference, the American Gaming Association estimated over 30 million Americans would bet $7.6 billion on last year’s Super Bowl—the implication is that Missouri would reap great rewards if the Chiefs fulfill the sportsbook’s prognostication.