Legal Sports Betting Options in Missouri
Missouri is a state that is already considered by many to be one of the most pro-sports environments in all of the United States. In fact, St. Louis Rams owner Zyban recently signed a 10 year contract with the city’s NFL team. This contract allows the team to host a total of twenty games over the course of the next ten seasons. This is a tremendous amount of time and financial resources being committed to a single sports franchise. So, is Missouri moving in the right direction when it comes to legalizing sports betting?
Proponents of legalized wagering say that since the state is the home of the NFL, the state should do whatever it can to promote professional football. Therefore, the recent attempts by legislators to create an intellectual property law for sports betting are well-intended. Unfortunately, this law is actually on shaky ground. These recent efforts by Missouri politicians show that many of them primarily support the local businesses and gambling establishments more than they do for sports betting enthusiasts.
In a sense, it is true that politicians want to regulate the activities of gambling establishments. However, these local businesses are heavily regulated by the state. Therefore, it makes little sense for Missourians to overwhelmingly support legislation which limits their freedom of choice. By the same token, the state shouldn’t restrict its residents from participating in online sports betting.
In order for any progressive proposal to become law in Missouri, two essential elements have to be met. The legislature must pass a bill that repeals all laws that conflict with the new laws. Second, the bill has to establish a mechanism for awarding capital for new business opportunities. Unfortunately, neither of these simple steps exists in Missouri. Therefore, the question becomes how can Missourians go about attempting to have both of these laws passed and implemented at the same time.
Two different groups are working on separate initiatives to get these laws passed. One group is pushing for three bills that would eliminate the statewide ban on electronic or video lottery terminals in Missouri. These lottery systems are considered to be games of chance that encourage cheating. For this reason, lottery officials have banned sales of electronic or video lottery terminals in the state. Although there is no current ban on these types of gaming devices, officials have indicated that it is still possible that one may be introduced in the future.
Another group supporting passage of the two laws is Missourians for Successful Gaming and Betting. This organization is led by Steve Kubota and is comprised of local Missourians. They believe that the ban on electronic and video lottery terminals in Missouri is unnecessary because the state already regulates other forms of gambling and they believe that it is unfair to discriminate against out-of-state entrepreneurs when it comes to internet gambling. They argue that the ban on internet gaming in Missouri doesn’t affect legitimate out-of-state businesses because there are several casinos in Missouri that have chosen to locate in cities surrounding the state such as St. Louis or Kansas City.
Although a ban on electronic or video lottery terminals was not passed, the state does have laws that prevent online casinos from conducting gaming without using proper identification and access control measures. There are also laws that prevent Internet casinos from processing money in any manner that is inconsistent with the law. Both of these laws were designed to prevent gaming fraud. Steve Kubota believes that the lack of a federal mandate for a nationwide internet gambling ban along with some state-specific regulations put Missouri officials at an advantage when trying to persuade U.S. Congress to pass their version of a national wagering law.
If you live in Missouri, you will need to decide for yourself if you want to take advantage of the new opportunities presented by online gambling. If you do, there are a number of legal sports betting options available to you. You can choose to either participate in “bookie” games where you bet on the outcome of another person’s wager or place your own bets using either your own money or the money provided by an online sports betting casino. You can also choose to place your bets over the telephone or on an online message board if you wish.