“Key issues relating to funding for education and problem gambling treatment programs, and changes needed to address illegal gambling activity unresolved”

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee advanced House Bill 2502 & 2556, a House sports wagering bill, this week. The bill codifies a deal between the casinos and the professional sports teams that allows among other things, remote and on-line gambling on sporting events from anywhere in the state with a significantly reduced tax rate.

Senator Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg, said the current version of the bill fails to resolve key issues relating to funding for education and problem gambling treatment programs, and does not implement changes needed to address illegal gambling activity.

A key player in the success of any gaming legislation, Sen. Hoskins has questioned the merits of the bill as being too one-sided in favor of the casinos as it only produces an estimated $10 million annually for public education. Hoskins champions a sports wagering proposal that raises an estimated $163 million annually for Missouri public education and veterans programs, $153 million more annually than the casino and professional sports teams’ proposal.

“The current tax rate on gambling in Missouri is 21%, was approved by voters at 21%, and provides a significant amount of funding for our public schools. I don’t see why sports wagering should be treated differently,” Hoskins said, “I look forward to working on this bill during floor debate to ensure that Missouri education and problem gambling treatment programs are the focus of this legislation, not just the bottom-line interests of the casinos.”

The bill is scheduled for a hearing Monday afternoon, April 25, at 3:30 p.m. in the Senate Governmental Affairs and Fiscal Oversight Committee, and could be debated Monday evening when the full Senate convenes.

For information about Sen. Hoskins, please visit his official Missouri Senate website: senate.mo.gov/Hoskins.

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