Online Poker and Gambling Laws in Missouri
2021 Update: Is Online Poker Legal in Missouri?
A few poker tours pass through Missouri but it doesn’t seem like the state is going to legalize online poker anytime soon. Social poker is allowed and there have been a few new bills looking to expand gaming going through the state, but none of them have mentioned online poker yet. The current initiatives to expand gaming involve sports betting.
Missouri, of course, is a huge sports state. They’re home to a number of college and professional sports teams with a long list of titles and even longer list of fans. There are six bills floating around the state that are looking to regulate sports betting. Some legislators tried to pass sports betting bills last year but failed, now they’re trying again.
Some people think the bills have a good chance of passing, but everything is up in the air because of the coronavirus pandemic. We’ll wait and see if the state takes up sports betting because for many states, online poker has been the next step.
Gambling Laws and Poker in Missouri
While there’s still some discussion of what might be added to Missouri’s laws, there’s already an extensive repertoire of gambling laws in the state statues. Missouri Revised Statute Chapter 572.010 and 313.001 hold the bulk of the state’s gambling laws. These laws cover everything from penalties, to what’s allowed to the very definition of gambling. This is essential because the state needs to tie a rope around what it considers gambling to then legislate around it. In Missouri, gambling is defined as:
“Staking or risking something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or future contingent event.”
There are two elements here are “staking or risking something of value” which includes monetary wagers and anything that could be considered valuable. This is pretty wide ranging and could encompass a lot of things. The second main element that relates to poker is “chance or future contingent”. A federal judge ruled poker was a game of skill in 2012 so it could be exempt from being a game of chance. But there’s no denying that every hand of poker is dependent on future contingents.
Can I Play Poker on PokerStars in Missouri?
Not yet. First the state is going to have to legislate and pass online poker legislation. Second, it will have to grant a license to PokerStars . So far, only two states in the US have done that. New Jersey was the first state to do it in 2018 and then Pennsylvania followed suit in 2019. Some states have shared player pools, but PokerStars is segregated to each state so far.
There are some sites that allow players from all 50 states and have giant player pools like PokerStars used to have. Sites like Ignition Poker , BetOnline and Bovada have all emerged as good PokerStars alternatives for poker players in Missouri. They have great sign-up bonuses, rakeback programs and tournament guarantees. For more information, check out our full reviews below:
Can I Gamble in Missouri?
Yup! There are a few gambling options in Missouri.
While Missouri doesn’t have any race tracks or pari-mutuel betting, it does have charitable gaming, a lottery and several commercial casinos. There are more than a dozen casinos throughout Missouri and they generated $550 million in revenue in 2019 . Casinos in Missouri employ more than 11,000 people in the state and they’ve donated more than $2 million to charities.
The Missouri Lottery was founded in 1985 and the first drawing was held in 1988. Since then, the Missouri lottery has generated more than $6.5 billion for the state. In 2019, there were $1.47 billion in sales alone. Out of that, $1 billion went back to players. The lottery has been a big revenue generator for the state and is expected to keep growing. We’ll keep you updated if they ever add poker to that list.
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