JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A hearing was held Monday afternoon on a new bill to legalize sports betting in Missouri, however Gov. Mike Parson reportedly doesn't see it as a fit during the special session he called to consider tax cuts.
Missouri Rep. Dan Houx, R-Warrensburg, introduced House Hill 4 last week, reintroducing the proposal after a similar bill failed to advance in the Senate last spring, KMIZ-TV reports. Addressing criticism of similar past proposals Houx's bill would create a commission to assess psychological damage caused by compulsive gambling. It also imposes a 10% tax on gambling sites to go toward public education in the state.
No one opposing the bill was at the hearing, according to KMIZ, however the governor may block it from progressing. Parson doesn't plan to extend the call for a special session to include sports betting.
"Sports betting is clearly beyond the call and does not relate to" the governor's "topics in the call. I do not anticipate the call being expanded to include sports betting during special session," a spokesperson for Parson's office told KMIZ.
Neighboring states Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, Iowa and Tennessee, are among dozens that have already legalized sports betting.
However, the special session was called to consider income tax cuts and to extend agricultural tax credits, so legislators can only pass bills related to those two items. Some lawmakers suggest working sports betting into a tax cut bill to make it fit within the call for the special session, KMIZ reports.
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