Missouri Lawmakers Press Governor on Sports Betting

Missouri lawmakers are trying to get sports betting passed but so far have not received much cooperation from Governor Mike Parson (l.), who recently nixed a special session for it.

Missouri lawmakers who want sports betting legalized in their state are asking Governor Mike Parson to help in achieving that goal.

So far, however, Parson has been lukewarm to the idea, even though every bordering state around the Show Me State has legal sports wagering.

Both the state Senate and House leadership has shown their support and an urgency to move forward but so far the governor has shown tepid enthusiasm. He recently shot down a call for a special assembly to vote on a bill sponsored by the House.

Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo (D-Independence), told Ozarksfirst.com that he wanted to know when sports betting will be legally allowed in the state.

“If I go home next May or I’m at my next fantasy football draft without sports betting, they are going to put me out on a rail,” Rizzo said. “We’ve got to do whatever it is we need to do to get it done. My constituents want it, but more importantly, it’s just something this state needs to get done.”

Meanwhile states like Kansas are cleaning up on sports betting. The state received $129,617 in taxes from the first month the state allowed sports betting.

Parson put the blame on the legislature for not moving quicker on getting it legalized.

“All of a sudden, people can go over there and do their thing on that and Missouri can’t,” Parson said. “We’ll see how it all plays out but that’s the General Assembly’s thing.”

They tried to put sports betting on the general assembly’s special session, but the governor nixed the idea.

“You just can’t call a special session because something doesn’t get passed every year in the General Assembly,” Parson said.

Now lawmakers will have to wait until January before they can bring it back and some fear the governor will continue to be hesitant, though he said it is the legislature’s.

“I think it’s going to be one of those things that’s coming when the day comes,” Parson said. “The day is going to happen but that needs to go through the legislative process, and it goes in there year in and year out.”