Missouri is not the first state that comes to mind when we think of gambling. However, the state does offer several forms of gambling to its residents and visitors. However, gambling regulation was slow to arrive in Missouri. The state didn’t legalize any form of gambling until 1984, when the lottery and betting on horse racing was permitted.
The lottery in Missouri performs extremely well, however, horse racing did not take off. Following on from the legalization of the lottery and betting on horse racing, casinos would be permitted in 1992, and Bingo in 1994.
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Online Gambling in Missouri
Missouri is not all that open to online gambling. There are no laws preventing casino sites, but they are not directly regulated. The only online gambling that is regulated by the state of Missouri is Daily Fantasy Sports. The law was initially unclear, but this never stopped DraftKings and FanDuel from accepting players. However, a bill was eventually introduced to expressly legalize Daily Fantasy Sports.
Off-track betting on horse racing is also legal, however, it is also illegal. Let us explain. Off-track betting is permitted in Missouri, provided there are live horse races taking place on the day. However, no race tracks have operated since the 1990s, meaning that legal off-track betting never happens.
Gambling Options in Missouri
While not a state immediately associated with gambling, there are several options available to residents. Horse racing was legalized in the 1980s, along with off-track betting a few years later. However, the industry was not successful and shut down in the 1990s. Off-track betting requires live races to be going on, and so is essentially illegal these days.
Residents can also play the lottery, with lotto tickets and scratch cards available throughout the state. Interstate lotteries, such as Mega Millions and Powerball, are also available in the state. Residents can also enjoy Keno, with tickets sold in bars, pool halls, bowling alleys and so on. Keno draws take place every four minutes. Charities are permitted to offer Bingo and raffles as well.
Finally, there are also several riverboat casinos in the state. These casinos are open 24-hours a day and offer a great variety of casino games. Permitted games include slots, video poker, craps, blackjack, roulette, poker, and much more! There are around 13 riverboat casinos in Missouri and they are no longer required to leave their docks anymore. The casinos used to subject to a $500 loss limit for players, which would reset every two hours. However, in 2008, voters repealed this limit.
Gambling Laws Missouri Guide
Missouri’s laws allow for numerous different types of gambling. In order to offer any form of gambling in the state, the organization needs to be licenced by the state. This includes charities that which to offer bingo and raffles. Charities needed to have existed for two years before being able to offering these games, but this changed to six months in 2018.
Missouri Casino Laws
When it comes to the state’s casinos, there are a few laws that guide the industry. For starters, they need to be located on a boat. However, they can now stay permanently docked and no longer enforce the $500 loss limit. Missouri casinos are able to offer any casino game players can think of. This includes any table games permitted in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. This means gamblers in Missouri will have access to slot machines, roulette, blackjack, poker, baccarat, craps, Pai Gow poker, keno, and more.
The law states that casinos are required to pay 21% tax on their gaming win to the state. Players need to pay a $2 admission fee to enter any casino, and have a player card that is used to track this fee.
Missouri also allows players to try and recover any money lost in illegal gambling operations, while parents may also reclaim losses of minors.
Race Tracks Struggle
Betting on horse racing was legalized in the 1980s, but the race tracks in Missouri closed down in the 1990s. This also made off-track betting illegal. The law states that off-track betting is permitted on days that live racing is taking place.
Legal Gambling Age Missouri
Missouri is a but unique when is comes to the minimum gambling age. Unlike most other sites, Missouri has a tiered minimum age, depending on the type of gambling being done. There are three different tiers, which are as follows
- Minimum age of 16 is for bingo and raffles
- The Minimum age for betting on horse racing and buying lotto tickets is 18
- Minimum age to gamble in a casino is 21.
Missouri Gambling History
Gambling in Missouri has quite a rich history. The modern age of gambling began in 1984, when horse racing and the lottery were legalized. However, gambling goes back much further than that. Horse racing seems to have begun in the 1750s, and within the next 50 years, there were over 20 race tracks in the state. However, betting on the races became illegal in 1905.
The state also saw plenty of river boat casinos during the 1800s. These river boat casinos also managed to survive the prohibition period. However, they were never technically legal. It was simply that the authorities decided to look the other way and not close them down.
Horse racing would officially be legalized in Missouri again in 1984, along with the lottery. The horse racing industry struggled from the get go. Part of the issue was the state’s requirement to have live racing going on to permit off-track betting. The industry would collapse once casinos were legalized.
Missouri Legalizes Riverboat Casinos
In 1992, Missouri voters decided to legalize Riverboat casinos. The first casino to open was the President Casino, which opened in 1994. Casinos were only open from 10am until 1am and casinos were required to charge an admission fee. In addition to this, casinos had to enforce a $500 loss limit per two-hour period.
Over the years, the restrictions on the casinos in Missouri were softened. Missouri was the last state to get rid of this type of loss limit, which happened in 2008.
Missouri Gambling FAQs
What Gambling is Legal in Missouri?
Missouri allows most forms of gambling, including horse racing, lottery, daily fantasy sports, and casino games.
Is horse racing legal in Missouri?
Yes, technically horse racing is permitted. However, no horse racing events have taken place since the 1990s.
Is off-track betting permitted in Missouri?
Again, technically it is legal. However, the law states that off-track betting can only take place when there is live racing taking place. Since no events have happened since the 1990s, it’s technically still legal, but illegal at the same time.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports permitted?
Yes, Missouri allows Daily Fantasy Sports. In fact, this is the only form of online gambling that is 100% regulated by the state.
Are casinos legal in Missouri?
Yes, casinos are legal in Missouri. However, they are required to be located on a Riverboat.
What is the legal gambling age?
Missouri has three different minimum gambling ages, depending on the type of game. Charity games, like Bingo, require the player to be 16 years old. In order to play the lottery and bet on horse racing, you need to be 18, while playing at the casino requires the player to be 21.
Can you smoke in Missouri’s casinos?
Currently, there is no state-wide ban on smoking in Missouri, so casinos should offer a smoking area.