Missouri Sports Betting: State Sen. Caleb Rowden Rooting for Masters Week To Approve Legislation, But Left Debate Frustrated

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Syndication: Akron Beacon Journal

Missouri’s latest attempt at legalizing online sports betting again went down a state Senate rabbit hole. 

A deep one. 

Senate Bill 30 ended up getting buried by various amendments when it reached the Senate floor Wednesday. The delays ended Sen. Caleb Rowden’s desire to pass the legislation during Masters week.

Long Debate in Missouri Senate Ends With No Resolution

Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) departed the floor discouraged.

Among the amendments that the senators debated ranged from organizing video lottery terminal regulations to establishing a referendum before the populous.

The state House of Representatives voted in favor of a $45.6 billion budget for legalized sports wagering, but left out verbiage on paying for consultants, staff and vendors “associated with diversity, equity & inclusion,” according to a tweet by KPLR reporter Emily Manley.

SB 30 authorizes a raise in Missouri’s gambling tax on sports betting and funds resources to help individuals who may have a problem with compulsive gambling.

But sports wagering has failed in the Senate before because of differing opinions on creating video lottery terminals.

With SB 30 on the floor, Senators debated a series of amendments, but none reached a consensus. Sen. Lauren Arthur (D-Kansas City) did move the legislation forward a bit by raising the gross receipts from sports betting from 12 percent to 15 percent.

Karla May: ‘I’ve Been Down This Road Before’

Senators debated the legislation until 8 p.m. local time. Some lawmakers, like Karla May (D-St. Louis), were frustrated by the lack of progress.

“I’ve been down this road before,” May said, as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I’m OK with sports betting. I think we should have it. The problem is the Legislature is so stubborn and so controlled by special interests.”

Rowden said his objective is to work to get online sports gambling “to the end.”

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas tweeted: “C’mon, people. Just get it done.”

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