ST. LOUIS, MO- Soon you may be able to bet on the Cardinals legally in Missouri. Lawmakers are considering three bills that would allow sports gambling throughout the state.
"I'm not sure if that's good or not. Because people can use their money if they need it for their homes and things like that. I'm not sure if that's a great idea," says one fan.
Another response, 'I'm not sure, either. I don't know. It has its pros and cons like anything else.'
"I think it's a great idea," says another fan. "I think we've already got the lottery here, we've already got casinos here, so why not add this. Otherwise, you're making it difficult for people who want to bet on sports; they have to go to Las Vegas or different areas and you're losing all that money that you could gain [through] taxes off that."
House Bill 2535 would allow sports gambling on the Internet statewide.
Sponsor Dean Plocher of West St. Louis County says it would include charging a 1% "integrity fee" on bets, which would be collected by professional sports teams and "would help them Monitor what their players and what kind of gambling activity that's going on so we don't have shaving points and things like that," Rep. Plocher said.
Another proposal, House Bill 2406, seems to be gaining more traction in the capitol. It would allow casinos to offer betting on games throughout the state.
Some online leagues like RealTime Fantasy Sports based in St. Louis support this option.
C.O.O. Tim Jensen says, "We don't really take wagers in terms of, 'I want $20 on the Eagles to win the Super Bowl.' That's not our business, so we rather not compete in that online. The rules and certifications and the investigations the gaming commission have to do to prove to take those wagers are beyond what we can afford to do and actively compete in the state of Missouri."
Meanwhile, HB 2320 would give the Missouri Gaming Commission control over sports betting standards and allow its use in lottery games.
Some lawmakers seem to think the end result will be legislation that includes a combination of all three approaches, with Plocher indicating it could be the subject of a special session once the current legislative session ends in May.