Since 2018, sports betting has taken off across the States of America. The ability to bet on sports, either online or live, has energized fans of all sports and helped the coffers of different states. Two states, however, are heading in two completely different directions regarding the dicey subject.

California Maybe…

The state of California has always had a hit-or-miss approach with gambling. While they do offer poker rooms, casino gaming, and betting on horse racing across the state, they have been very close minded to the expansion into the online gaming arena. For years online poker has struggled to gain acceptance from the California General Assembly, but it seems that sports betting might be faring a bit better.

In California, Proposition 27 would open the doors to sports betting, both online and live, in the most populous state in the U. S. Another proposal, Proposition 26, would only allow for live betting to be conducted with the state’s Indian casinos and the four horse racing facilities that exist. Both sides seem to understand what is at stake, as over $400 million has been spent by lobbyists on both sides of the proposition.

The Indian casinos in particular seem to push the Yes on 26/No on 27 end of the spectrum, with several tribes spending money to support that approach. The tribes have directly lobbied against it, with upwards of $91 million being spent. Meanwhile, the major sports betting operations – DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and others – has thrown their full weight behind Proposition 27, which would allow them to enter the state’s gambling industry.

Missouri Waits Until…

While entities in the Golden State wait for November 8 and the vote of the people, Missouri has directly shut the doors to potentially opening for sports betting this year.

Faced with a cut in the state income tax rates, legislators in Jefferson City are meeting in special session to consider options for raising revenues. One thing that isn’t on the table, according to Columbia Missourian journalist Kurt Erickson, is for the state to join in on the rush to authorize sports betting within the state. A spokesperson for the governor of the Show Me State put the kibosh on such actions earlier this week.

“Sports betting is clearly beyond the call and does not relate to Governor (Mike) Parson’s topics (for calling the legislature back to special session),” spokeswoman Kelli Jones stated to Erickson. “I do not anticipate sports betting being a part of special session.” This isn’t stopping Missouri officials from discussing the proposal, however.

A House panel discussed the issue last week, looking to get in on the fact that a reported 16,000 people inside the state could not bet on sports. They could, however, go across the border to Iowa, Illinois, or Arkansas (Kansas is looking to vote on the issue this fall) to place their wagers, with the state of Missouri missing out on that revenue and the licensing fees. Just the licensing fees alone could draw in $150,000 from each franchise to start, with a $50,000 renewal fee each year.

PASPA Opened the Door

In 2018, the U. S. Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA, which allowed the individual states to decide for themselves as to what they wanted to do regarding sports betting. Since that time, 30 states have authorized sports betting, either live, online, or both, with another three states legalizing the activity (without any operators yet) and seven weighing their options, including Missouri. Eight states have no interest in either side of the equation while two (Utah and Hawaii) have outright banned gambling.

Sports betting is only going to grow in the U. S. Many states, faced with drops in tax revenues during the COVID pandemic and resulting shutdowns, went the pathway of sports betting to bring in needed money for their coffers. Analysts suggest that sports betting revenues could hit $179.3 billion in 2028 and those states that aren’t onboard are going to miss out on massive amounts of cash.


  1. Joel says:

    I was just in St. Louis last weekend and everyone drives to the Illinois border and places their sports bets. So silly they are leaving revenue on the floor because of outdated lawmakers. With the major sports leagues all on board these states are just behind the times.

  2. Anonymous says:

    the show me state. “show me” dub asses

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