One of the larger states in the Midwest, Missouri is a state that seems to have a lot going for it. Some great cities featuring some excellent sports teams, and a general love for life. However, when it comes to gambling in the state, there are some huge barriers to entry. Let’s have a look of at the different gambling laws in Missouri and where we think they are headed in the future.
Sports Betting in Missouri
Missouri is the home of several professional sports teams across the four major American sports. Also, the state’s residents are huge fans of college sports, with the basketball and football teams of many schools drawing as many fans as the pro teams. All of this leads to the notion that sports betting would be very popular in the state, and while that is the case, there is no legal way to bet on sports currently. All of the states aside from Nevada have been prohibited from offering legal sports bets since 1992, but that is soon to change. In May 2018 the Supreme Court overturned the law on the books, leaving it to the individual states to regulate sports betting as they see fit.
One positive note is that the state did regulate Daily Fantasy Sports in 2016. This makes those games legal in the state and forces the operators to turn over 11.5% of net revenue in taxes to the state. As the big DFS sites are now making headway in regulated sports betting, we can expect lobbying to begin in earnest in Missouri soon.
Online Sports Betting
As we mentioned, sports betting is still prevalent in Missouri regardless of the laws that once prevented it. Old-school bookmaking has been going on across the state for decades, and for those who aren’t keen to settle up in a dark alley, there is also the option of illegal offshore sports betting… These sites, which are based outside the country and the reach of American law, offer a full suite of betting options to players who are willing to deal with unlicensed website. This is not a smart move as these offshore sports betting sites are not monitored for fairness or integrity. If you are not certain to get paid if you win, why bet at all? Playing at offshore sportsbooks is not a good idea and residents of Missouri would be better off waiting for the real deal or playing Daily Fantasy Sports while they wait.
Luckily, it seems that Missouri will not have to wait too long to enjoy legal online sports betting. Multiple law projects are under consideration and the odds that one will go through in 2019 are extremely high.
Horse Betting in Missouri
Horse racing is the one sports that have had a long exemption from any gambling prohibition. However, it is up to each state to regulate the betting on racing, and some states have differing opinions on the topic. The good news for residents of Missouri is that horse betting is alive, and well, both at the race tracks themselves and at off-track betting facilities. Each facility also has the option of showing simulcasts from tracks around North America, giving bettors even more races to wager on. There doesn’t seem to be any reason to believe these laws will change, but with the horse racing handle in decline, we do expect the industry to continue to need a shot in the arm.
Online Horse Betting
While land-based horse racing betting is legal in the state, the online portion of pari-mutuel betting is left to companies from outside Missouri. Sites like Twinspires, which is owned by Churchill Downs, offer live streaming of races from many tracks and betting options for those races. While there has been a push in many states to bring online horse wagering back in-house, for the time being, there is no indication that in Missouri anything will be different than the current structure.
Casino Gambling in Missouri
Casino gambling is where the laws are a little cloudy in Missouri. For some reason, the state has taken what appears to be a very conservative approach to land-based casino gaming, and this is leaving many scratching their heads.
Much like in other parts of the Midwest, the rules for gaming on the water and on land were very different decades ago. The riverboat casino became popular in those times, and while many states have changed their laws to allow for land-based properties, Missouri has chosen to stay with the status quo. In fact, it was in the 1990s that the state made riverboat gambling legal, but with some weird stipulations.
The most important part of the law was that the boat needed to be in motion for gaming to be legal. This means that the boat had to board passengers, and then leave the dock, leaving other patrons to wait for the next cruise. This seemed ludicrous, and after a few years, the government finally relented and allowed the boats to remain docked while dealing cards. However, there are still no land-based casinos in the state, and the areas around these boats are now being developed with shopping malls and hotels. It does seem archaic that the state won’t allows for slots games to be played 3 feet from where boats are docked now, but maybe one day the legislators will have a more modern view on the topic.
Online Casinos in Missouri
As you can imagine, with laws so tight around land-based casinos, there hasn’t been much movement on the online casino front. This means that if you want to play some cards from your house, you are left to risk playing with one of the unregulated sites that are accepting players from Missouri. This is again not a very good idea, given the fact that American law will offer you no protection in case the illegal casino site turns out to be dishonest.
One day, Missouri will modernize its casino laws and it will certainly open the doors to online casinos as well. This will be a good day for gambling enthusiasts in the state as, aside from the security that it offers, licensed online casinos tend to offer a lot more playing content to users. The legal online casinos offer the best array of table games and slots, and these days content is king. Many software companies are only available to U.S.-licensed brands, like Netent, Microgaming and nearly all the new Live Dealer options that are disrupting the space.
Lottery in Missouri
While casino gambling and sports betting have faced an uphill battle in Missouri, the same cannot be said about lottery games. The Missouri Lottery has bee around since 1986 and raises money for charitable organizations and social causes across the state. Players in Missouri are tapped into the pooled games like Powerball and Mega Millions, each of which turns someone into a multimillionaire several times a year.
Missouri Gambling FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Missouri?
Sports betting is not legal in Missouri. However, Daily Fantasy Sports is legal and regulated, which is a sign that the state is moving in the direction towards regulated spread betting. For the time being, however, gamblers are left to wait for one of multiple sports betting laws under consideration to be passed.
When will sports betting be legal in Missouri?
It is always difficult to say when a state will table legislation to legalize sports betting. As many states have moved to do so in 2018, we can only assume that Missouri will follow suit in 2019. However, it is a long process to get from introducing legislation to passing it into law and awarding licenses. Despite the law projects under consideration, we think it is a longshot that any legal sports bets will be taken in Missouri before the end of the 2019 calendar year.
What is the best online sportsbook for residents of Missouri?
We think choosing the best online sportsbook is more of a personal thing – you need to find one that suits your needs, one that offers the best bonuses and one that makes it as easy as possible to find the lines you want to bet on and place those bets. The lists that our experts assemble attempt to give players an overview of the key elements and we rate every online sportsbook according to what we believe the most important pleasure factors are. You will find some value in checking out our full Review section for great online sportsbooks to choose from. To rate legal online gambling sites, we look at the sites’ promotions, to see where there is some value for depositing players. These promotions include free bets (who doesn’t like free money?), deposit bonuses or leaderboard contests that reward the best handicappers. All told, the sites that we recommend represent the cream of the crop of online sportsbooks. Also, to rate websites, we generally look at the promotions that are being offered by a site, making sure that there is something for both slots players and table games lovers as many gamblers like to play a multitude of game types, depending on the mood of the day.