The sports betting landscape in Missouri is going to face significant changes as the integrity fees have been unearthed from the ashes. Though Missouri was new to the sports betting scenario, talks of few relevant bills had begun in 2018; and seemed to have moved quite fast with the two pre-filed Missouri sports betting bills in the Senate.
Earlier, at the House convened a meeting between operators, Chairman Dan Shaul had stated that they were against any mandated payment to the leagues. This Special Interim Committee on Gaming did not talk about where it stood on mandated league payments, however.
So, despite operators’ resistance, when Sen. Denny Hoskins and Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer incorporated the fees in their proposed bills, it did take many by surprise. Similar bills were rejected last year.
Hoskins’ bills (SB 754) proposes the Missouri Lottery Commission to oversee sports betting with 0.25% of handle paid to the leagues. And Sen. Tony’s bill (SB 754) seeks a bill that would put the Missouri Gaming Commission in charge of regulation with 0.75% of the handle to be paid to the leagues.
Missouri Special Committee Report
Missouri special committee, essentially, wishes to legalize Missouri sports betting to prevent loss of revenue to other states, as per reports. Boyd Gaming has started getting customers coming from Missouri to Iowa casinos for football betting on weekends. As a result, Illinois and Tennessee might make sports betting legal as well from next year.
The committee expressed their interest in mobile gaming as well to ensure that there is no monopoly owing to lottery oversight. It also stated that the aim is to avoid untoward competition between agencies and focus on receiving revenues. Keep in mind, the committee is yet to announce the name of the regulator that would be perfect from an economic perspective.
What is interesting is that around 40% of US states have some sort of sports betting law, but none have taken the money grab of an integrity fee.
Integrity Fee Shoots Up Tax Rates
The incorporation of integrity fees has caused the taxes paid by operators to rise quite a lot. 5% of revenue is equivalent to 0.25%. The effective revenue tax goes up to 14%, with tax revenue of 9% (SB 567). And for a 6.25% (SB 754) revenue tax, the effective revenue tax would be 21.25%. Pennsylvania’s effective revenue tax is 36%, which is quite high in comparison to the ones above. The two MO sports betting bills do not need in-person registration and call for mobile sports betting.