KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While its ultimate fate remains unclear, the Missouri House of Representatives voted Thursday to advance a measure to legalize sports betting in the state.
The Missouri House of Representatives passed HB 2502, known as the sports wagering bill, Thursday, by a 115-33 vote.
The bill now goes to the Missouri Senate. It wasn’t immediately clear what the fate of the bill will be in the Senate.
As of early 2022, Missouri and Kansas were two of 17 states that had yet to pass some sort of legalized sports betting.
Thursday’s vote was cheered by pro-gambling groups hoping to bring legalized sports betting to the state. Those proponents are hoping to pass legislation in time for the start of the 2022 NFL season in September.
An article Wednesday in the Missouri Independent said the legislation, sponsored by Warrensburg Republican Rep. Dan Houx, seeks to recognize the fact that many Missourians are already taking advantage of legalized sports betting in states adjoining Missouri. As of Mach 2022, Iowa, Illinois, Tennessee and Arkansas had all passed sports betting laws. Kentucky and Oklahoma were in similar situations as Kansas and Missouri, where legislative efforts are underway but not passed into law.
A reading of the bill shows the legislation would allow for betting on professional and college sports in the state, but would prohibit betting on prep sports.
The legislation would also call for an annual report to analyze any negative effects expanding gambling has on the state and its population.