The Osage Nation tribe of Missouri is betting on the state going big into online gambling. While the state is still debating whether to legalize online and mobile sports betting and casino gambling, the Osage Nation intends to be ready when they do.
The tribe has purchased a 28-acre plot of land near the Lake of the Ozarks, where plans are in place to construct a casino resort. The ambitious project would see the construction of a $60-million complex, complete with a casino, bar, restaurant and meeting space. Later phases will include a hotel for casino guests.
Eventually, the hope is that this casino can be paired with an online and mobile betting partner.
Missouri lawmakers are again expected this year to be considering a bill that would legalize retail and online and mobile app sports betting in the state. The pressure is even higher this year after Kansas passed their online gambling bill and with multiple sportsbooks going live in fall 2022.
A bill that failed to gain approval last year was negotiated by owners of the 13 licensed casinos and the state’s major league franchises – the Kansas City Chiefs, Royals and Current – a women’s professional soccer team – and the St. Louis Cardinals, Blues and St. Louis City soccer club.
Each of Missouri’s six licensed casino operators would be able to offer three platforms, or skins, per casino. Each casino company would be limited to six total skins. Each of the sports teams would be permitted to contract with a single sports betting site. Teams would be given a designated sports district encompassing 400 yards around their home stadium in which only the team’s sports betting partner would be legally permitted to advertise.
A stumbling block in the past is that proponents of legalizing sports betting also want to see video lottery terminals legalized in a package deal, since the latter would generate far more revenue for the state.
“We want to get it done, but we have got to get it done as a package,” State Sen. Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg) said. “There is almost no revenue without (video lottery terminals).”
Hoskins has been a driving force behind the bid to legalize sports betting in Missouri. Both Hoskins and Senator Tony Luetkemeyer (R-Parkville) have built frameworks for bills that would follow this blueprint. However, at the present time, no sports wagering bill has been filed in the Missouri House.
Photo by Brittney Butler on Unsplash.