Casino Watch Focus has reported on various efforts to expand gambling in Missouri by legalizing sports gambling. The Supreme Court has allowed for each state to set its own sports gambling regulations now, and many states have started expanding their gambling offerings into the sports realm. However, in Missouri, most gambling outside of the lottery, or some charity bingo/fundraisers, is limited to the 13 licensed casinos that operate on either the Missouri or Mississippi rivers. That hasn’t stopped those from looking into ways of expanding sports gambling in any means possible and it looks like the Missouri Lottery is the new regulatory target. The Washington Examiner reports:
[I]f Missouri lawmakers allowed new products, such as sports wagering, and took steps to “modernize our channels of distribution” through online lottery ticket sales, revenues would dramatically increase – and quickly.
That was the pitch Wednesday by Missouri Lottery Executive Director May Reardon and Missouri Gaming Commission General; Counsel Edward Grewach before the Senate Economic Development Committee,
Casino operators are among those lobbying lawmakers to legalize sports gaming. Thirty-two states have done so since 2018’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, but efforts in Missouri have fallen short in consecutive sessions.
Reardon said the Missouri Lottery should administer any “new products” authorized by lawmakers, noting 70% of global online sports wagering is conducted by lotteries.
Grewach said if lawmakers allow sports betting, only wagers placed by a person physically present in the state to a company also residing in Missouri would be legal.
Any proposal to do so, he cautioned, would “create some regulatory challenges for us.”
In addition to regulatory challenges pertaining to carrying out a lottery based sports gambling scheme, there would also be questions about the constitutionality of sports betting in Missouri, where gambling is expressly limited to casinos and the regulation through the Missouri Gaming Commission. It would be expected that both those hoping to see sports betting remain outlawed in Missouri, and those whose interests align with casinos will object should such legislation find success in the Missouri Legislature.
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