Missouri Gambling Laws

Missouri Gambling LawsMissouri first developed a gambling history in the heady-days of riverboat casinos during the 1800s. While the static-boats no longer sail, gambling in Missouri acknowledged its riverboat heritage and brought-back-the-boats in 1992. It’s no surprise the casino industry is flourishing in Missouri.

Missouri has a growing mixed rural-urban population, a representation of what a future of America may resemble, socially and politically. What happens in Missouri is a crystal-ball for what transpires nationally on casinos online, online gambling, sports betting laws and betting on sports moving forward. many predict Missouri will move forward and legalise online casino and  like in NJ and Nevada.

Gambling Type Legal Land-Based Legal Online
Sports Betting No No
Casinos Yes No
Fantasy Sports (DFS) N/A Yes
eSports No No
Poker Yes No
Horse-Racing Yes No
Lottery Yes No
Charitable-Gambling Yes No

Missouri Gambling Tax Rate

Missouri has a 4% state tax on gambling winnings.

Large wins attract Federal taxes.

Missouri Gambling Age

Gambling Type Age
Casinos 21
DFS 18
Horse-Racing 18
Lottery 18
Charitable-Gambling 16

Sports Betting in Missouri

Missouri residents and visitors currently do not have betting on sports as a legal option, however, that could all change soon.

Eventually, Missouri is looking increasingly likely to legalize sports betting. Two sports betting bills appeared within a month of-one-another during 2018. Firstly in January 2018, Bill SB 767 was introduced and later, SB 1013.  Both legislative documents were contingent on the federal law changing to allow sports betting, which it did.

The bills covered-off on the feasibility of introducing sports betting to the state’s land-based casinos, online sports betting and the level of sports betting taxes. The taxes (termed an ‘integrity’ fee – 1% applied to the total betting action and paid back to the pro sports leagues) are the most controversial and may require some debate and negotiation to pass the State Legislature.

The 1% in real-everyday-terms is more like a 20% tax on casinos and would make sportsbooks untenable. Watch-this-space for an outcome of the State debate on the administration of sports betting in Missouri.

Online Sports Betting in Missouri

In Missouri, sports betting online is illegal as it is currently unlicensed and unregulated in the state. Until the topic has been debated by the state’s legislators, Section 527.020 of the Missouri Revised Statutes states clearly and concisely that it is a Class C misdemeanor to participate in gambling as a player outside of licensed facilities.

Legal sports betting online is anticipated to be debated by the Missouri State Legislature when it reconvenes for the 2019 legislative session.

Meantime, online DFS is all perfectly legal for visitors and residents and visitors in Missouri until the legislators give the legal green light for loyal fans to place a legal wager on the Royals or the Chiefs.

Casinos in Missouri

Missouri state legalized casino gambling in 1992 following the approval of the state’s voters after a statewide referendum. Only riverboat casino gambling was legal at that time and the water-based casinos were limited to simple two-hour gaming cruises and the players were limited to $500 in losses per trip. After four years, the law changed to allow land-based casinos. Astonishingly, the $500-per-session loss limit lasted for more-than-a-decade, and was abolished in 2008 as part of casino law reforms. All of Missouri Casino Gambling is administered by the Missouri Gaming Commission.

Missouri’s Riverboat Casinos

The big gambling attraction in Missouri are the 13 riverboat casinos on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, and they’re open 24 hours a day. There is no requirement to leave the docks anymore, and as such, they are standard Missouri casinos that just happen to be located on the state’s iconic waterways. There are no restrictions on casino games and players can enjoy video poker, blackjack, slots (the state’s favorite with more than 20 000 slots on offer in Missouri), craps, roulette, baccarat and live poker.

Online Casinos in Missouri

Gambling online is not yet legal in Minnesota and the debate drafting of legislation in the State Legislature, will come before lawmakers can enact online gambling laws. Concurrently, legislators will additionally be required to create a regulatory system to ensure player and operator gaming security in Missouri.

As yet, there has been little need nor opportunity to address the legality of online casino games and create online casino laws.

In the interim, Missouri’s Online players should refrain playing ANY online casinos (both U.S.-based-online-casinos and off-shore online casinos) until a legalization of online casinos occurs in the State Legislature. Meanwhile, legal online betting options exist in Missouri with DFS.

Horse Racing Betting in Missouri

In a triumph for legislation over common sense, ironically, betting at live horse racing tracks is legal in Missouri, however, the state isn’t home to any live tracks. Horse Racing Betting in Missouri was legalized in 1984, however, few available simulcast betting options saw the live tracks struggling to attract an audience and a profit, and the last of Missouri live horse racing tracks saw action in the early 1990’s.

Track Side/Off-Track Betting (OTB)/Online Betting on Horse Racing in Missouri:

Racing is legal in Missouri; however, no tracks have operated since the 1990’s. Off-track betting is also legal, but only permitted on live race days days where there is a live race. Similarly, online betting on horse racing too is legal, but also must only take place on live racing days in Missouri.

The end result means, that although all forms of horse racing betting are technically legal in Missouri, there is no legal avenue to bet on a horse race in Missouri.

We will advise if there are any updates on the topic forthcoming from the almost defunct Missouri Horse Racing Commission as they come to hand.

Missouri’s Daily Fantasy Sports Law

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) competitions are understood and interpreted by U.S. Federal Laws not to be games of chance, and conversely, considered to games of skill and knowledge. Therefore, at the Federal level of government, DFS competitions ARE NOT considered to be gambling. Federal lawmakers have encouraged each state to seek their own position on the legality of DFS competitions.

In 2016, Missouri’s legislators did precisely that. Agreeing with the Federal position that DFS competitions are not considered to be gambling, Missouri passed into law on June 10 2016, Bill HB 1941 to expressly authorize and regulate DFS as legal. Subsequently, all major DFS sites accept players from Missouri for their real money betting competitions.

DFS – Explanation of the popular game

 With tens-of-millions of DFS players in the United States, it is surprising that DFS is still an unknown quantity to many Americans. For the DFS uninitiated, here’s your guide.

DFS real money contests operate as a player’s ‘virtual’ team is scored on how well its real-world athletes perform in the actual matches. Astute players can get ahead of their competitors by knowing the day’s match-ups. From the fan’s perspective, many believe that they could do better than most coaches in the pro leagues, and accordingly, DFS provides an outlet for such dreams.

Participants in DFS select athletes to form a fantasy team. Athletes then compile fantasy points during a sporting event based on their real on-field performance. A fantasy team’s score is the total of each selected athlete’s fantasy points. Participants are then ranked based on their team’s fantasy points and prizes are awarded accordingly.

DFS competitions usually last for a stand-alone set of games, which typically range from a single day to an entire weekend. Other longer duration fantasy league competitions exist whereby participants select players and compete over the course of the season.

DFS betting is available on all the major leagues of pro sports, college basketball and football, and some DFS companies also offer Mixed Martial Arts or PGA Tournament Golf DFS competitions.

The DFS team that collects the most points, wins their DFS league, be it a daily, weekly, regular season or a stand-alone playoff ‘league’ or competition. Winners can potentially earn up to $1 million per competition, per major league.

Poker Laws in Missouri

According to Missouri Law, Live Poker is readily available in Missouri, as long as it takes place in a licensed and regulated environment, such as a state riverboat casino.

Home poker games are permitted if the organizer is not profiting from the games.

Online Poker Laws in Missouri

Missouri’s gambling laws clearly specify if a particular game, or game type is not specified in the state’s statues and is not regulated and licensed, it is considered to be illegal. That is precisely where online poker rest in the Missouri Law, illegal until ruled upon.

We will let you know of any potential alterations in the status of legal online poker in Missouri as they occur.

Missouri’s online gamblers can, however, participate online in the state’s legal real money DFS competitions.

Missouri eSports Betting

Once sports betting lands in fully-legalized Missouri sportsbooks, wagering on eSports will appeal to a new breed and generation of gamblers who are looking for contemporary transparent sports betting options untarnished by the less glorious days of the illegal past.

The rise and rise of ‘eSports’

eSports (also called competitive gaming) is an emerging genre of entertainment where professional gamers play video games against each other on computers or consoles in front of a live or online audience. They are a big deal that has developed from a once underground gaming community to become a mainstream sport, now growing at a never-before-seen rate. Globally, players compete in tournaments offering prize pools worth up to millions of dollars. Many of these team-based competitions attract enormous global audiences, both live and online through vastly improved live video streaming technology.

The betting interest in eSports is increasing daily, directed related to the amount of prize money on offer in the tournaments. Many international sportsbooks now offer markets on the major competitive global eSports tournaments.

Dota 2, Legend of Legends and Fortnite, are some of the most popular games, and big pro teams are battling it out for glory as gamblers around the world (and in 2019 in Missouri?) cash in on the betting action.

Legal Gambling’s Benefits to Missouri

  • Casino taxes are the State of Missouri’s fifth largest source of revenue. The state’s casinos contribute more to the state economy in gaming tax revenue alone than all the other, more than 150,000 Missouri businesses combined.
  • Missouri gambling generates millions of dollars a year in property and sales taxes.
  • More than 9000 people are directly employed in the Missouri gambling sector.
  • Since 1994, Missouri gambling has provided more than $66 billion to improve education in the state and provide scholarships for those in need.
  • A further $33 million has been given to charity since 1994, including $24 million for Veterans charities.
  • In 2017 alone, almost $82 million was raised by Missouri Gambling to build schools, parks, roads, improve policing and fire departments and children’s day care and after-school programs.
  • Missouri Casinos give first choice to procuring goods from women-owned and small disadvantaged businesses.

History of Gambling in Missouri

1800’s; Riverboat Gambling flourishes.

1980; Charitable Gambling (Bingo and Raffles) legalized in Missouri.

1984; Horse Racing Betting legalized in Missouri.

1986; State Lottery begins in Missouri with profits going to education.

1992; Riverboat gambling relegalized in Missouri.

1993; Missouri Gaming Commission established.

2008; Casino betting limits raised.

2016; DFS legalized with the passing of Bill HB 1941.



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