A Look at Gambling Laws in Missouri

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legal regulations for gambling in missouriThe states are responsible for regulating any gambling that occurs in the jurisdiction. Many states now have Indian based casinos that operate on federal land. The state of Missouri is one of the states that has one Indian casino that was allowed by law in the year 1994. The state had to enact a constitutional amendment in order to allow the single casino. Interestingly, this casino is on a riverboat that floats in the Mississippi River. We will take a quick look at some of the applicable gambling laws that regulate this casino.

Missouri Code Section 572.010

The Missouri code 572.010 et seq. and 313.001 regulate gambling within the state. The definition of gambling is betting or staking an item of value (including money) on the outcome of a contest of chance. The bet can also cover a future event such as the outcome of a sporting event. One interesting fact is that dog racing is not addressed by the current law. Yet, horse racing is addressed in the following section of 572.010…

Horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering on international or interstate horse race simulcasts legal. Off-track wagering illegal.

Other aspects of gambling are also made illegal under the law. For example, possessing bookmaking documents such as records, or devices for tracking bets are specifically made illegal. There is also an age restriction that requires gamblers to be at least 21 years old.

Licensed Gambling Facilities

Unfortunately for most “would be” casino owners, gambling is not allowed just anywhere in the state. Gambling must only occur on or near the Mississippi River! The law requires casinos to be placed in floating facilities such as boats or platforms. It also allows casinos to be built within 1,000 feet of the river, such as Harrah’s in Kansas City.

Exceptions to Gaming Laws in MO

The state does have a few exceptions to allow gaming without risking criminal prosecution. First, charity organizations are allowed to operate games such as bingo. However, the organization must be approved by the state. Also, the state lottery is precluded from the law. The state currently operates a lottery system to fund education and other social needs.