Missouri could soon legalize sports betting

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JEFFERSON CITY - Sports gambling could soon be legalized at a federal level, and local lawmakers are making the push to make sure Missouri would be ready if that were to happen. 

HB 2320 will be discussed as part of a house budgetary meeting on Wednesday. The bill, proposed by Representative Bart Korman (R- St. Charles), would create a system of sports wagering for the state. 

Rep. Korman says he thinks sports gambling could increase state revenue. 

"I've got some constituents that go to Las Vegas every year for the Super Bowl, and go there and (bet), and they have some friends that send them a few dollars too for some wagers too, and it's like, why can't we do that here?" he said. 

Exactly how much revenue could sports wagering bring to Missouri?

"I think there's going to be millions," said Korman, who indicated the total could be as high as fifty million dollars in additional revenue. 

In late 2017, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) introduced the Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement Act, or GAME Act, which would allow states to legalize sports gambling on their own terms. Korman said creating a system of sports betting for Missouri before the GAME Act is passed could allow the state to be ahead of the game. 

"I wanted to be proactive and set up the framework ahead of time, and if federal law allows us to do it, we could be a step ahead of everyone else," he said.

In addition to Missouri, 13 other states recently introduced sports wagering proposals in anticipation of sports gambling being legalized. 

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