Is Sports Betting Legal in Missouri?

Missouri may be playing catchup, but it appears the state wants in on the sports betting industry as the number of states with legalized sports gambling continues to grow.

A bill pre-filed in December 2018 by state Republican senator Denny Hoskins could legalize the industry in Missouri and bring millions of dollars in revenue to state coffers.

“Here in Missouri, we definitely want to be in the mix,” Hoskins said. “We don’t want to be the last one to the table and lose out on that additional revenue.”

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on sports wagering in May 2018. Currently, more than half a dozen states allow sports gambling. If this bill passes, wagering would be allowed on riverboat casinos in Missouri.

Betting Laws in Missouri

More than six million people live in the state of Missouri, also known as the Mother of the West. Jefferson City is the capital, while Kansas City is the largest city with a population of almost 500,000 residents.

Missouri gambling laws — whether it's the slots on the riverboat at the Isle of Capri Casino or table games at the Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City — are regulated at the state level by the Missouri Gaming Commission.

All legalized gambling within Missouri is limited to the following areas:

  • Casino gambling
  • Tribal gambling
  • Riverboat casinos
  • Poker
  • Horse racing betting
  • Lottery
  • Daily fantasy betting
  • Social gambling
  • Charitable gambling

You have to be at least 18 years old in the state of Missouri to play bingo, bet on horse racing and play the lottery. You have to be at least 21 years old to play poker or visit one of the many casinos in the state.


There are about a dozen casinos in this state in the Midwest, but most of them fall under the category of riverboat casinos. Most of these establishments don't even leave shore anymore as they are now located on barges.

St. Louis has the most casinos with three. The Ameristar in K.C. is the biggest casino in the state, while the Ameristar riverboat casino in St. Charles is the second largest.

Well-known gaming company Harrah's also has a casino in Kansas City and St. Louis, boasting large scale, Vegas-style venues featuring thousands of slot machines and a host of popular table games.

Horse racing

Missouri does not have any horse racing facilities, but residents can place bets at online sites like Bovada. The top-ranked offshore gaming site offers daily wagering on all the Triple Crown races and everyday thoroughbred and harness races around North America.

Bovada is one of the most trusted gaming sites on the Internet. Missouri residents can join and receive many rewards, including welcome bonuses.


The first drawing in the Missouri Lottery was held in January 1986. The lottery offers Scratchers tickets and many online games. The organization also offers tickets in the national games Powerball and Mega Millions.

The biggest lottery winner from Missouri was a store clerk from Marshall, who hit the $258-million Powerball jackpot in 2010. Before his win, Chris Shaw had just $28.96 in his bank account and was just three weeks into his new job.

Daily fantasy betting

Missouri is among several states in the U.S. where there are laws on the books making it legal for operators to offer online fantasy sports games in which players pick teams of real players and compete against others based on the statistics of their mock teams.

Among the provisions unanimously approved by the Missouri Gaming Commission in July 2016 are a prohibition on betting on college, high school or youth sports and a tax and fee structure designed to raise money for education.

Missouri Sports Betting Laws

Missouri lawmakers will have the option to legalize sports betting this year following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May 2018 that paved the way for it in all 50 states.

Several lawmakers have filed bills that would allow and regulate sports betting, but there's disagreement between casinos and sports leagues, which want a cut of the profits.

Sports leagues told lawmakers that they would use the money to ensure players and teams don't manipulate the outcome of the game.

A government official said he's fairly pessimistic on a sports betting bill advancing until casinos and sports leagues reach a consensus on revenues.

See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you:

Missouri's Major Sports Teams

Kansas City Chiefs (NFL)

The team was founded in 1960 as the Dallas Texans and relocated to Kansas City in 1963. The Kansas City Chiefs have won three AFL championships (1962, 1966, 1969) and became the second AFL team to defeat an NFL team in a championship game when they beat the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV. The team's victory on Jan. 11, 1970 remains the club's last championship victory and appearance to date.

St. Louis Cardinals (MLB)

One of the most successful franchises in baseball history, the St. Louis Cardinals have won 11 World Series championships — the second-most in major league history. The team was founded in 1881 as the Brown Stockings. They were renamed the Cardinals in 1900. The team's long and storied history includes Dizzy Dean's 30-win season in 1934, Stan Musial's 17 MLB and 29 National League records, and Bob Gibson's amazing 1.12 ERA in 1968.

Kansas City Royals (MLB)

Located on the opposite side of Missouri from their state rivals in St. Louis, the Kansas City Royals were founded as an expansion team in 1969. The have played in four World Series, winning two of them (1985, 2015). The expansion team quickly became a powerhouse, appearing in the playoffs seven times from 1976 to 1985. Times were tougher from 1995 to 2012, as the Royals had just one winning season in that 17-year stretch.

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