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Sen. Denny Hoskins on what it will take to bring sports betting to Missouri

 State Sen. Denny Hoskins a Republican from Warrensburg
Jason Rosenbaum
/
St. Louis Public Radio
State Sen. Denny Hoskins, a Republican from Warrensburg in 2019, at the State Capitol in Jefferson City.

On the latest episode of the Politically Speaking podcast, state Sen. Denny Hoskins talks about an issue that’s bedeviled lawmakers over the past few years: legalizing sports betting and allowing businesses to have video lottery terminals.

Hoskins, R-Warrensburg, was first elected to represent Missouri’s 21st Senate District in 2016. He was reelected to his post in 2020.

Here’s what Hoskins had to say on the program:

  • He’s optimistic that Senate Republicans can operate more cohesively after a rough 2022. He added that the fact that congressional redistricting is not on the agenda anymore could provide more breathing room to accomplish major priorities.
  • He’s confident that he can work effectively with incoming Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden. Hoskins was a member of the now-defunct Conservative Caucus that often clashed with GOP leadership during the 2022 session.
  • Hoskins explained how legislation to legalize sports betting would work. He talked about how the issue has often been paired with efforts to legalize video lottery terminals at gas stations, restaurants or fraternal organizations.
  • He discussed efforts from Republicans to curtail the initiative ballot petition process. He specifically talked about an idea that would require a ballot item to not only get a majority vote but also prevail in a majority of Missouri House districts.

Before redistricting, Hoskins’ district included Caldwell, Carroll, Howard, Johnson, Lafayette, Livingston, Ray and Saline counties.

Before running for the Senate, Hoskins served for eight years in the Missouri House. The certified public accountant was elected House speaker pro tem, which is the second-highest position in the General Assembly’s lower chamber.

Generally, Hoskins has won his elections by wide margins, except his first one in 2008. That’s when he defeated Warrensburg Mayor Jim Jackson by 122 votes.

Hoskins’ home was moved into Sen. Rick Brattin’s district during the state legislative redistricting process. But since he’s term limited after 2024, it doesn’t affect his legislative service.

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Sarah Kellogg is the Missouri Statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio

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