Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rep. Jason Grill files legislation to address Sports Wagering and abusive behavior directed at Sports Officials

Jefferson City – In an effort to help Missouri generate additional tax revenue during the economic downturn, Representative Jason Grill, D-Parkville, filed legislation this week urging the United States Congress to lift the ban on sports wagering. The resolution, House Concurrent Resolution 31, is part of a larger package of legislation sponsored by Rep. Grill covering issues ranging from consumer protection to tax reform.

Rep. Grill pointed out that illegal sports wagering occurs across the nation and generates $380 billion in economic activity each year. Rep. Grill indicated that only one percent of all sports wagering nationwide is legal.

“If we are able to have legalized sports wagering we can generate the tax revenue we need for our state budget in these tough financial times,” said Rep. Grill. He added, “Several other states are considering similar resolutions and I think it’s important that we join them in this effort.”
Also this week, Rep. Grill filed legislation focused on curbing abusive behavior directed at sports officials. The legislation would increase the penalties for anyone convicted of causing physical injury to any athletic contest official immediately prior to, during, or immediately after an interscholastic, intercollegiate, or other organized athletic contest in which the athletic official is participating.

“We’ve seen a disturbing increase in the amount of aggression and physical behavior directed toward referees and officials. It’s important that we establish this behavior will not be tolerated and that it will be punished accordingly should it happen,” said Rep. Grill. “I look forward to working with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle on these proposals.”
Rep. Grill’s bills now await assignment to committee for further discussion.