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Missouri Poker Legislation

Missouri Poker & Gambing LawsGambling played a huge role in the early civilization of Missouri. It wasn’t exactly legal at the time, but it was very popular. Saloons were abundant in Missouri, and high stakes poker games were common in them. In the mid-1900s the law enforcement started cracking down on these illegal gambling organizations. The first legalized casinos were in 1992 when Riverboat Casinos were legalized.

Are Poker Sites Accepting Players From Missouri?

Yes! Poker players in Missouri will have no problems finding a US online poker room that will be glad to accept their business. After a quick sign up process players can begin playing. The only difficult part about playing poker online today is trying to find a way to fund your poker account. The federal government has been quick to crack down on online payment processors that handle funds for gambling sites. With that being said, millions of players are still funding their online poker accounts and playing every day.

Is it Legal to Play Online Poker in Missouri?

Missouri is one of several states that have yet to address the legality of playing poker online. Since there are no laws that specifically address playing poker online the legality of it left up to the interpreter. Some people may read the laws and decide that it is legal while others may read them and decide that it is illegal. We will not take a stance either way on the issue, but we will highlight some of the laws pertaining to gambling in Missouri below:

  • Missouri defines gambling as a person engages in “gambling” when he stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome. (Section 010) [1]
  • The same section goes on further to define a gambling device as “Gambling device” means any device, machine, paraphernalia or equipment that is used or usable in the playing phases of any gambling activity, whether that activity consists of gambling between persons or gambling by a person with a machine.
  • Social poker games appear to be illegal under the Missouri laws, but we did not find anywhere that said what the punishment for these games would be.
  • Professional poker players are illegal in Missouri.
  • We have found no instance where a person playing poker online has been charged with any kind of crime in Missouri.

Missouri definitely has some odd laws like the professional poker player law. As we stated earlier, we could not find any laws in the Missouri statutes that specifically addressed playing poker online. Please contact an attorney if you are concerned with the legality of playing poker online in Missouri. [2]

Missouri Gambling History

As we mentioned earlier saloons were prevalent in the early days of Missouri. It was not uncommon for these saloons to offer gambling, mainly poker, to their customers. The poker games weren’t exactly legal, but the law makers turned a blind eye to this activity for several decades. This went on until the mid-1900s until the law enforcement started cracking down on these illegal organizations.

The first legalized gambling came to Missouri in the form of the pari-mutuel wagering at horse tracks in 1984. Voters approved the measure with a 60% majority. The legalization of betting at the horse tracks seems to be a trend in most states in the United States. This is almost always one of the first types of gambling legalized in a state.

The state lottery in Missouri was approved in 1986. Voters overwhelming approved a measure to legalize the lottery in 1984 with 70% of the voters voting for it. In 1987, the lottery went to join the Multi-State Lottery Association which enabled all of the states to offer huge jackpots. The lottery commission approved instant games in the form of scratch of tickets which quickly became very popular. [3]

In 1994, Riverboat Gambling was approved in the state of Missouri. By 2011, there were four riverboat casinos operating. Many people think that riverboat casinos mean that you actually have to board a ship or boat and sail out into the river to play, but this is actually not the case. The casinos are docked. Many casinos along the river actually pump water from the river up to board their location so that they can be considered to be on the river. [4]

St. Louis is one of the most popular gambling destinations in Missouri. Millions of dollars are spent at the casinos each year. You will also find charitable bingo halls throughout the state of Missouri. Bingo has been a major source of funds for many charity organizations for many years.

Legalized Gambling Options in Missouri

Missouri offers several choices for gambling within their state. The lottery tickets are sold throughout the state at almost any convenience store. There are casinos spread out across the state. The most popular casinos are in St. Louis. Bingo is also a popular pastime in Missouri, and you can find a bingo hall in almost every county.

Will Missouri Legalize Online Poker in the Future?

Missouri is a state that is up in the air when it comes to legalizing online gambling. They have made no move thus far to legalize it or to make it illegal. There are rumors that the state is in need of additional revenue. The general consensus is that Missouri will not legalize online gambling even if there is a federal mandate to legalize it. However, if the state is having financial difficulties they may have a change of heart if there is a federal mandate. We will just have to wait and see.

References:

  1. Jump up ^ Missouri Gambling Statutes
  2. Jump up ^ Illegal Gambling in Missouri
  3. Jump up ^ Missouri Lottery
  4. Jump up ^ Missouri Gambling History
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