By Will Freeman
The sports betting bill that had support from all pro sports teams in Missouri died on the Missouri Senate floor Wednesday, April 27th, 2022. The bill didn’t die from being voted down but by something more ludicrous. It died because of a filibuster. A filibuster is a political procedure in which one or more members of a legislative body prolong debate on proposed legislation so as to delay or entirely prevent decisions. It died because of differences of opinion about what should be included in the bill.
Sen. Denny Hoskins made an amendment to add video lottery terminals (VLTs) to the bill that was never part of the sports betting bill in the first place. VLTs are those video slot machines you see mostly at truck stops and at veterans’ organizations. The other amendment Sen. Hoskins added was to tax the sports betting revenue from 8% that was proposed in the House to 21%.
Now the second amendment that Sen. Hoskins suggested I can understand, but the MO Senate tried to compromise by changing the revenue gain from 8% to 10%, then take out the VLTs in the bill, and Hoskins would not have it. Hoskins being joined by Sen. Karla May then did a filibuster causing the vote for the bill to never take place. Why put in VLTs when it had nothing to do with the conception of the sports betting bill in the first place? Hoskins also said during his filibuster he would put 153 additional amendments into the bill if needed.
Sen. Hoskins claims with the addition of the VLTs along with sports betting Missouri could bring in $45 million a year. Now with filibustering this bill is currently dead, it could be fixed by the end of the current legislative session by May 13, or be back within the next legislative session. Now due to Sen. Hoskins’ antics, Kansas, which also has a sports betting bill being discussed, now has a better chance of being passed into law first than Missouri. Then the people of Missouri would have to cross state lines to both Kansas and Illinois to cast sports bets. And then both of those states will collect revenue from Missouri sports betters while the state gets nothing.
I usually don’t talk about politics, but thought this should be brought to people’s attention. Hopefully, the Missouri legislature will find a way to get sports betting legal in-state soon. Personally seeing the many plunders gone through the Missouri legislature over the years, my confidence is low. I hope that I am wrong.
Will Freeman is N The Zone Network’s football insider for XFL STL Talk Show and Pro Football Alliance. He also contributes to NTZ Pro Wrestling. Follow him on Twitter @wfreeman87 and catch him on the XFL STL Talk Show.