Chiefs Could Get In On Act If Missouri Approves Sports Betting

Posted on: March 14, 2024, 04:13h. 

Last updated on: March 14, 2024, 04:13h.

Should Missouri finally approve sports wagering, the Kansas City Chiefs could make alterations to accommodate a retail sportsbook at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. But for now, no such plans are in the works.

Super Bowl betting odds Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes hoists the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024. The team could make room for a sportsbook at Arrowhead Stadium if Missouri approves sports betting. (Image: AP)

Last week, the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs announced plans for $800 million in upgrades to Arrowhead Stadium and the and Harry S. Truman Sports Complex, assuming voters approve a sales tax extension on April 2. As things stand today, those efforts don’t include anything related to sports wagering.

If it actually came to fruition, we’d look at it and I think there are ways we could retrofit something if it makes sense,” Chiefs President Mark Donovan said in an interview with KSHB 41. “We probably have a partner who would want to retrofit with us, right? But right now, we are not contemplating that as part of this plan.”

The goal is to have a refurbished version of the venerable Arrowhead Stadium ready for either the 2030 or 2031 NFL seasons.

Missouri Tough Lift When it Comes to Sports Betting

Sports wagering legislation has consistently floundered in Missouri despite support from professional sports franchises, including the Chiefs, the Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Blues and Cardinals.

Republicans control the governor’s office and both houses of the state legislature and it’s a conservative faction of the party in the State Senate that’s typically defeated sports betting bills due to regulation of grey-market gaming machines that proliferated in convenience stores, restaurants and bars, gas stations, and retail spaces across the state.

Now, some politicians in Missouri want to bypass sports betting legislation and take the matter directly to the voters. Donovan said the Chiefs endorse to bring regulated sports wagering to the state.

“We’ve been supportive and been working on this for four and a half years,” Donovan said in the KSHB 41 interview. “I’ve been in Jeff City more on this issue than any other issue. We think it makes sense. We are very supportive of the coalition. I think (President) Bill DeWitt and the Cardinals deserve the bulk of the credit, because they’ve done the work and they’re in it every single day. We appreciate that.”

Makes Sense for Chiefs to Support Missouri Sports Betting

A long road remains for legalizing sports wagering in Missouri. As such, it’s not yet clear what gaming company the Chiefs would partner on an in-stadium sportsbook, but such venues are approved by the NFL and can be revenue generators for teams.

For Missouri, sports betting could be a revenue generator as well. As many as 24 applicants, including 13 casinos, could apply for licenses. That means licensing fees on top of related tax receipts.

There’s also geographic reasoning for approving sports betting in Missouri. Of the seven states with which Missouri shares borders, six allow some form of regulated sports wagering with Oklahoma being the exception.

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