WARRENSBURG, Mo. — A Kansas City-area state lawmaker is weighing in on the sports betting bill that just passed the Missouri House on Tuesday.
“No bill is smooth in the Senate,” Republican State Sen. Denny Hoskins said in an interview with FOX4 on Friday.
Hoskins said he’d like to see a sports book bill get passed.
“But I want to make sure that it is a fair bill that is supported by all of Missourians and doesn’t cause more harm than good,” he said.
Hoskins talked to FOX4 on Friday at the Missouri Veterans Home in the city. The group gets no money under the bill that just passed the house.
Hoskins has been a big supporter of VLTs, or Video Lottery Terminals, which are already in some gas stations and truck stops. He wants VLTs to be legalized or regulated because a bill with that in it would support veterans’ homes.
In downtown Kansas City, out-of-town fans at the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 would like to be able to place a bet.
“It’s not like the biggest frustration in the world, but it definitely is an inconvenience for me,” Xavier fan Nate Mazza said Friday at the Power & Light District.
In Ohio and Kentucky, it’s legal to place a sports bet. In Florida and Texas, where the University of Miami and the Universities of Houston and Texas are, sports betting’s illegal, too.
“It just makes the whole atmosphere and sports watching a lot more fun when you can place bets on some of your favorite teams,” Miami fan and Florida resident Brian Johnson said outside P&L.
Back in Warrensburg, Hoskins said it doesn’t bother him when people blame him for sports betting failing so far. He filibustered one of the bills last year.
“I’ll accept the accolades as well as the criticism,” Hoskins continued.
“But I think a lot of people just don’t know that I was the first one to file a sports book-only bill five or six years ago. And I had a deal last year, and unfortunately it wasn’t my bill. And Sen. [Dan] Hegeman did not bring the sports book-only bill up.”
Hoskins said Hegeman didn’t bring up that bill in 2022 because many of the casinos wouldn’t support it. He blames them for killing sports betting last year.
“I’m not saying that I would be a part of keeping it from being legalized,” Hoskins said when asked whether he’d be a reason sports betting doesn’t get passed this year.
“But I think the priorities to me are making sure that we get some more funding for veterans’ homes and veterans cemeteries.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling problem, help is available.
Find resources from the Kansas Behavioral Health Services, Kansas Gambling Help, or call the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network at 1-800-522-4700.