A gridlocked Senate as soon as once more ensured Missouri sports activities betting laws didn’t move this yr.
Regardless of passing the Home handily once more this session, MO sports activities betting laws bumped into an inhospitable Senate. The Missouri legislature adjourned Friday with out sending sports activities betting laws to Gov. Mike Parsons.
Throughout filibusters on Thursday and Friday, lawmakers at occasions blamed sports activities betting for the stall. Regardless of these claims, trade sources instructed LSR “good-faith negotiations” had already ended.
The sports activities betting deadlock is linked to Sen. Denny Hoskins, who needs sports activities betting tied to regulatory language for video lottery terminals. Hoskins has additionally participated in filibusters all through the session, together with an eight-hour stand on April 5 to dam a sports activities betting invoice.
No deal for Missouri sports activities betting
Whereas there have been a number of proposals on the desk heading into the session, Missourians are once more left with out authorized sports activities betting.
For a big piece of the final two days of the session, Sen. Invoice Eigel filibustered, lamenting how little the legislature completed this yr regarding conservative priorities.
Eigel mentioned special-interest lobbyists, together with for sports activities betting, held up a number of important points this session. Throughout his filibuster, he learn from Ronald Reagan’s biography and the Missouri GOP platform.
No extra makes an attempt in Missouri
Hoskins mentioned passing a closely amended SB 30 – the goal of his eight-hour filibuster – or a compromise invoice together with VLTs had been the one methods sports activities betting handed this yr. Legislative management introduced neither choice to the Senate ground this week.
Eigel derailed motion late Thursday and Friday in hopes the Senate would move his private property tax invoice. He mentioned the laws was held up, no less than partially, due to a disagreement on sports activities betting.
“There is no such thing as a deal on sports activities betting,” Eigel mentioned Thursday. “It’s not going to occur it doesn’t matter what we do on private property tax within the subsequent 24 hours.”
Sports activities betting, nevertheless, was not the one sufferer of the Senate deadlock. Together with different high-profile points, a Home invoice to provide baby intercourse abuse victims longer to sue their abuser that handed the decrease chamber 150-0 didn’t get a vote within the Senate.
Messy Missouri Senate
A number of Republican lawmakers frolicked all through the week blocking and slowing the legislative course of. No payments superior by means of the Senate Friday.
As Eigel filibustered Friday, Senate Majority Chief Cindy O’Laughlin known as the ground delays “political theater.”
“Both we’re going to have a Senate that’s revered and stands on custom, or we’re going to have one thing like mud wrestling, which is about what we’ve had for the final couple of years,” O’Laughlin mentioned.
Prolonged sports activities betting saga in Missouri
The Hoskins obstruction started final yr when he prevented Rep. Dan Houx’s proposal from reaching the end line. A coalition of the state’s skilled groups, casinos, and nationwide sportsbook operators again Houx’s laws, which cleared the Home earlier this session than final yr.
Hoskins’s efforts towards the problem started when his sports activities betting and VLT laws did not advance out of committee. He then pledged to hinder any sports activities betting proposals till he obtained his manner.
Along with his proposal sitting immobile for greater than a month, Houx inserted sports activities betting language into an unrelated Hoskins invoice this week earlier than sending it again to the Senate. Hoskins believes the transfer was seemingly unconstitutional.
What occurs now in Missouri?
Stakeholders are starting to search for another path to sports activities betting legalization. The St. Louis Cardinals, a bit of the coalition behind sports activities betting laws, need to lead a poll initiative.
If profitable, Missouri voters may resolve the destiny of sports activities betting on the poll field in 2024.
Except for a possible voter referendum, the legislative struggles of the previous two years may additionally clear up and supply a cleaner path to legalization. Each state surrounding Missouri, besides Oklahoma, has legalized sports activities betting.