MO State HS Sports
Slot machines would be legalized in Missouri, under proposed gaming bill

Slot machines would be legalized in Missouri, under proposed gaming bill

State Sen. Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg) speaks on the Missouri Senate floor in Jefferson City on February 16, 2022 (file photo courtesy of Harrison Sweazea at Senate Communications)

A veteran state lawmaker who represents Howard County in the 939 the Eagle listening area says expanding gaming will help Missouri honor its commitment to veterans.

State Sen. Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg) has filed Senate Bill one, which is called the “honoring Missouri veterans and supporting Missouri education act.” Hoskins’ bill would legalize video lottery terminals (VLTs) in fraternal and veterans’ organizations and truck stops. VLTs are slot machines.

“I have a veterans home in Warrensburg in my district as well as a (state) veterans cemetery in Higginsville. During the current year, they’re about $50-million short. So we had to supplement their budget with general revenue of about $50-million,” Hoskins says.

Hoskins’ bill also authorizes wagering on sporting events, including e-sports. He says Missouri must honor its commitment to veterans.

“Video lottery terminals, which are in my bill to legalize, would bring into the state about $250-million. So that would more than cover that (shortfall). Sportsbook, which is also part of my bill, would bring in a little less than $10-million,” says Hoskins.

There has been opposition to slot machines in the Legislature and from others who believe they’re illegal. Former Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz (R-Sullivan) was an outspoken critic of slots. The Missouri Lottery has testified that illegal slot machines cost Missouri education about $50-million a year.