The only way to stop a bad guy from taking unregulated bets is with a good guy taking legal bets, more or less the message from Consumer Choice Center manager David Clement, who targets his attention on North American sports betting affairs, an active topic these days.
In a recent statement, Clement had this to say regarding Missouri’s stalled legal sports betting market:
The key to stamping out the illegal sports betting market is legalizing sports betting and having an open and competitive market where legal sports books compete for consumers. Not only does this help grow the legal market, it actively discourages consumers from placing bets in the illegal market which is ripe for fraud and abuse.
The Consumer Choice Center is a “consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice,” and what manager Clement is suggesting is nothing new to Missouri lawmakers who are struggling to pick a betting bill and go with it.
It’s a battle between state House and Senate ideas of what a Missouri sports betting market should look like, something Consumer Choice Center manager Clement seems qualified to weigh in on.
Clement has co-authored a study regarding sports betting policies in the U.S. as well as the revenue the states are now pulling in from those markets, and the idea that a legal sports betting market helps cancel out the unregulated ones is based on the data he has collected.
Since PASPA was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 thereby giving the right to choose to operate a legal sports betting market to each state, over thirty states and D.C. have moved forward with that and launched their own versions of sports gambling for residents.
Missouri is one of the remaining states that seems to want to join in but there is a debate between chambers as to whether to include video lottery terminals (VLTs) in the legislation, a dealbreaker for some who understand these ‘Gray Machines’ mean big money for some.
Regardless, the time has run out on the legislature and now Missouri bettors will have to wait even longer to place legal bets there.
The Missouri legislature is no longer in session with time running out on passing any meaningful sports betting legislation in 2022, so resident punters will have to wait until next year to see if lawmakers can figure out how to meet somewhere down the middle.
Meanwhile, all those sports bets that Missouri residents want to make will still be placed, but they will use unregulated offshore sportsbooks, illegal bookies, and sportsbooks from nearby states where it’s already legal to place their millions of dollars’ worth of action.
That’s potential tax revenue lost, and Missouri lawmakers and residents all know this, and they have been watching state neighbors like Kansas move forward and threaten to take their pro teams away, so expect this issue to get settled soon with this much money at stake.