Missouri Gambling Laws in 2024


Photo by Brittney Butler on Unsplash

The state of Missouri is the 21st largest state in the U.S. and is known for the Ozarks, a thriving farming industry, and being the birthplace of famous writer Mark Twain.

The Show-Me State is also known for its popular riverboat gambling options, but times are changing and U.S. bettors are keen for more convenient betting opportunities. The state’s present betting regulations are relatively prohibitive compared with other states. The best options in Missouri for those who want to place bets on a variety of sports markets or enjoy casino games are offshore licensed platforms that circumvent state regulations.

At present Missouri allows a state-run lottery with revenue going back to the state. Riverboat gambling permits casino-style gaming following a 1994 amendment.

Riverboat casinos offer a variety of games including poker, slots, blackjack, roulette, dice games, and more. Casinos are permitted to operate 24 hours a day, but some choose to close on major holidays like Christmas and Easter.

The minimum age for gambling in Missouri is 21 and the state operates a 4% tax on winnings that exceed $600, on top of federal taxes.

Horse racing is legal in the state, but a lack of demand means there are currently no race tracks in operation. A change to casino gambling laws that permits gaming on land could potentially see the introduction of racinos (racecourse-casino hybrids) in the future.

Sports betting is currently prohibited in Missouri, however, legislation passed the House in 2023 before failing in the Senate. This does give some hope that legislation could be pushed through in the future that could see the legalization of sports betting, both online and in-person, and perhaps eventually land-based and online casinos.

Support for the legalization of sports betting and online betting operations comes in the wake of significant profits for states that have recently passed legislation. Ohio is one example of this, generating over $6 billion in revenue in its first year of legal sports betting.

States that legalize casino and sports gambling benefit directly through taxation and job creation. It also provides the state with the opportunity to create a well-defined regulatory framework that betting operators must work within. This ensures consumers are protected, and gives the state far greater control over how operators advertize and conduct themselves.

Petitions for changes in Missouri’s betting legislation must be submitted to the Missouri Secretary of State. If they are approved, Missouri requires 8% of its voters’ signatures to sign the petitions for them to proceed.

Eight petitions were filed in 2023 that would legalize online and in-person sports betting with revenue being taxed at 10%. Some of Missouri’s top sports franchises, including the Kansas City Chiefs, St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, and St. Louis Blues, are behind coalitions pushing for these changes.

Support is swelling for legalized gambling facilities and consumers typically find a way to bet anyway. This could see Missouri pave the way for legalized sports betting in 2024 if the bills proposed get the support they need from the state’s lawmakers.

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