Sports betting making headway through Missouri legislature, could become law soon

The Missouri House passed a bill Thursday that would allow sports betting on pro and college sports.
The Missouri House passed a bill Thursday that would allow sports betting on pro and college sports.
Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 10:13 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - For years, sports betting has made its way into the Missouri legislature. This year, it’s finally making headway. The state House of Representatives passed Thursday a sports betting bill that would legalize betting for professional and college sports. It’s the most traction the bill’s made in years.

“You can bet on the spread, you can bet on just straight up wins, the over under on total points, and you can get into player props and way more specifics,” Allen Rauckman said.

Rauckman is a Swansea native and a huge St. Louis sports fan. He frequently bets on the Blues and Cardinals.

“If I was going to a Blues game in St. Louis, Missouri, I’d have to put every single bet in here before I go over there,” Rauckman said.

The Missouri House’s advancement pushes sports betting to the state Senate. Gov. Mike Parson has told News 4 he believes the bill will become law.

“To bring that to the legal environment would be great for our customers as well as the state of Missouri. There would be investment in infrastructure, additional jobs, sponsorships,” Michael Jerlecki said.

Jerlecki’s the general manager at Hollywood and River City Casinos in the St. Louis region. He said the want and need for sports betting is tremendous.

“On Super Bowl weekend, there was almost 70,000 attempts by people in Missouri to place a wager on their phone to a legal operator located outside the state of Missouri,” Jerlecki said.

Jerlecki said things would change drastically inside casinos if the bill becomes law.

“[The] ability for people to bet on their phones, kiosks, over the counter, some form of a sportsbook like what you’ve seen in different jurisdictions throughout the country,” Jerlecki explained.

It’s players like Rauckman who look forward to an even bigger thrill in the game, like live betting.

“Player gets injured during the game and the spread of points can change in an instant depending on the severity of that player. You would get that idea instantly, and if it’s legal in that state finally, then you can change that instantly,” Rauckman said.

The sports betting bill now sits in the senate. If it’s approved, it goes to the governor for a final signature and passage.