Although online horse racing betting is not legal, betting on horse racing in Missouri at the racetracks is. But there is a tiny little problem: there are currently no racetracks in MO. Still, there is some good news for MO horse betting fans: you have a lot of neighbors with regulated and existing horse betting!
MO horse betting: legal aspects
Missouri has a good deal of history when it comes to horses. All through the 19th century, you could find up to twenty race tracks just in St. Louis, and people seemed to love it more than baseball! In 1901 the first Missouri State Fair took place and one of its main attractions were horse races. Today, the fair features horse shows, but no racing.
Back in 1984, people of the Show-Me State voted in favor of legalizing horse racing in Missouri. Hence parimutuel betting at the racetracks was approved. Simulcasting was to be allowed only on the days when racetracks held live races. Turned out, the restrictive laws weren’t encouraging enough for investors to build racetracks in MO. Since there are no racetracks, there is no betting.
In 2002 there was a glimmer of hope that MO horse betting might become reality. At that time, the state legislature discussed the proposal to allow simulcasting betting throughout the year. That could have opened the doors for legalizing Missouri online horse racing betting. However, the proposal failed, the potential investors lost interest in opening racinos in Missouri, and the Missouri online horse racing betting was back at square one.
Missouri Horse Racing Commission
Missouri Horse Racing Commission was established in 1984, after the referendum that led to legalizing horse racing in Missouri. Just a few years later, in 1989 a Kansas daily newspaper reported that the commission meetings were taking place over the phone, and there was just no point in meeting in person. Not much has happened until 2008, when the MHRC met for the first time in a decade. Two subcommittees were formed, one to research establishing racinos in MO, and one to find a way to bring back horse racing to state fairs. Another decade has passed and we aren’t much closer to seeing the results of their work.
MO horse betting
So what can you do, if you live in Missouri and dream of horse betting? As we now have established, betting on horse racing in Missouri is legal at racetracks, but the racetracks don’t exist in the state. So here is a bit of good news: some of the neighboring states not only allow betting on horse races but also do have racinos.
So, if you are MO horse betting fan, you should consider Fairmount Park Racetrack, near St. Louis, in Collinsville, Illinois. They have a very old horse racing tradition, dating back to 1925. Simulcasting racing takes place every day at Fairmount. And it’s just across the Mississippi River.
Another option is Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa. It’s not as close as the Fairmount Park, but once you are at Missouri’s northern border, it’s around an hour and a half by car. At the Prairie Meadows, you can enjoy wagering on live racing and simulcasting betting.
Let’s face it – Missouri’s gambling laws are quite conservative, not much is allowed except boat casinos and yes, horse racing betting. But as we know, the latter one exists only in theory. However, there are reasons to be hopeful.
In 2018 a bill proposing legalizing sports betting, brought back to live the discussion about online casino and sports betting. Also, as more and more states legalize various forms of sports betting, including placing wagers online, it’s possible that Missouri will be swept along. And maybe, finally, Missouri online horse racing betting will become more than just a dream.