Missouri House Passes Simulcasting Legislation

With only one vote to spare, legislation to permit year-round simulcasting passed the Missouri House Wednesday and was sent to the Senate. The bill is key to a plan by Magna Entertainment to build a racetrack in the state.

The bill passed the House on an 83-69 vote. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the minimum number of votes needed for a bill to pass the House is 82.

The Senate approved simulcasting legislation two years ago, though the measure limited simulcasting to days when a track raced live. Under that scenario, the facility wouldn't be profitable, officials said.

If Magna, which now owns eight racetracks around the country, does build a track in Missouri, it must offer at least 50 days of live racing. Pari-mutuel wagering was legalized in the state in the early 1980s, but a track was never built.

Rep. Matt Boatright told the Post-Dispatch "horse racing itself won't work. We're going to have to have the other forms of gaming to make it viable."