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State lawmakers again are looking to expand gambling in Missouri to include sports betting.

We’ve never been big fans of gambling.

Many people see it as something that, in moderation, is simple escapism. Just another option for your entertainment budget.

However, we’ve always believed it appeals to our innate sense of greed — a way to get something for nothing. For some, unfortunately, it’s even a last-ditch effort. Sometimes it’s a last attempt at funding something that should be a routine budgeted need, such as food and shelter.

Too often, it makes the poor poorer.

But Missourians have previously spoken on the issue, first authorizing the Missouri Lottery, then riverboat gambling. They’ve also approved pari- mutuel wagering at horse tracks, but that’s never gotten off the ground.

Sports betting is now the gambling genre du jour. Many states have already approved it since the Supreme Court ruling lifted a nationwide ban on the practice in 2018.

Rep. Phil Christofanelli is sponsoring legislation that would legalize sports betting — online and in casinos. It also would include e-sports, also known as video games.

Truth be told, it’s already happening online. It would be naive to believe otherwise. And if you want to do it legally, you can just travel to the neighboring states of Iowa, Illinois or Arkansas.

Christofanelli’s bill would establish a regulated framework for sports betting, including a tax rate of 6.75 percent, which is competitive with neighboring states.

While we’re not fans of gambling, we don’t see the equity in allowing casino gambling and a state-run lottery but no sports betting.

We suspect lawmakers might have approved sports betting last year if not for the abbreviated session. There’s a good chance it could be approved this year.

Regardless, our advice remains the same: Work hard and you’ll make your own luck in life.

News Tribune

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