Illinois Neighbor Missouri Goes Big On Online Casino Legislation

Written By Joe Boozell on March 11, 2021 - Last Updated on April 30, 2021

Illinois has pending online casino legislation, but it’s not the only state in the Midwest to consider gaming expansion.

Neighboring Missouri also has an online casino bill, HB 1364. The bill would legalize sports betting, online casinos and online poker.

It’s an ambitious piece of legislation, to say the least.

Missouri, if you haven’t followed, has been flirting with online gaming expansion for years — to no avail.

The State Senate has been focused on legalizing sports betting, and there’s currently a bill that would do so in the upper chamber of MO Legislature.

The House bill, filed by Rep. Dan Houx, includes online casino and poker, too.

Here’s a look at what’s in the Missouri online casino bill.

Missouri online casino bill looks good for operators

The bill gives brick-and-mortar casinos three skins each. Since there are 13 riverboat casinos in Missouri, that’s a maximum of 39 skins.

The tax rates are also comparatively low. Sports betting revenue would be taxed at 6.75%, tied with Iowa and Nevada for the lowest figure in the US.

Illinois, for reference, taxes sports betting revenue 15%.

Meanwhile, online poker, slots and table games would be taxed at 12%. If it passes, that would be the lowest rate in the country.

The Illinois online casino bill also includes a 12% tax rate.

MO casinos would pay $50,000 to acquire a license, but just $20,000 to renew it each year.

The bill faces an uphill battle. Should it pass in the House, which is no guarantee, it will move to a Senate that has struggled to agree on any sort of sports betting framework.

MO Gov. Mike Parson might also not be on board, and he has veto power. Parson hasn’t said anything on the issue.

Will online casino in Illinois come first?

As of now, it would appear that Illinois has a better chance of passing online casino legislation than Missouri.

At the very least, Illinois has passed sports betting, and has recent precedent of passing gaming expansion.

With that said, Illinois has competition from neighboring states. Missouri has a bill, and while Indiana‘s most recent online casino legislation is dead, one would assume it will be revisited in the future.

Illinois casinos that are close to the Missouri border, such as Argosy Casino Alton and DraftKings at Casino Queen, would benefit if they legalize online casino before Missouri. And, therefore, so would the state.

In-depth coverage

Who’s For, Against Major Gaming Proposals in Illinois: Illinois has several pending pieces of gaming legislation. Here’s who is arguing for and against the proposals.

Illinois/Missouri gambling crossover

As of now, sports betting is legal in Illinois but not Missouri.

So, in order to bet on sports legally, one option for Missourians is to cross state lines and either bet on their phones or visit an Illinois casino.

As previously mentioned, Argosy Casino Alton and DraftKings at Casino Queen lie in suburban St. Louis.

Argosy Casino Alton is currently the second-most popular retail sportsbook in Illinois, and Missouri foot traffic certainly helps.

With that said, there are three casinos in the same area that are on the Missouri side of the border: River City Casino, Hollywood Casino St. Louis and Lumiere Place Casino Resort.

While Illinois currently benefits from Missouri foot traffic, if Missouri passes online casino before Illinois, the inverse could be true.

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Joe Boozell

Joe Boozell has also been a college sports writer for NCAA.com since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, FoxSports.com and NBA.com. Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene ... you can imagine how that went.

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