Recent poll reveals 62% in favour

Missouri sports betting campaign gathers momentum toward ballot initiative

Reading time 1:28 min

A campaign aiming to legalize sports betting in Missouri is gaining significant traction, with more than half of the required signatures collected to place the initiative on ballots this November.

Winning for Missouri Education, a coalition representing the state's six professional sports teams, announced on Tuesday that over 100,000 initiative petition signatures have been gathered. To secure a spot on the ballot, the campaign needs to collect about 180,000 signatures and submit them to the Missouri Secretary of State’s office by May 5, a goal they anticipate surpassing with a target of over 300,000 signatures

"We are seeing strong support in the signature gathering effort because Missourians know it is time to legalize sports betting and use the funding for education," said campaign spokesman Jack Cardetti. "It’s not only good for our economy but will support our teachers and future generations of Missourians for years to come."

If successful, the initiative would permit Missouri's 13 casinos and six professional sports teams to conduct sports betting, both onsite and through mobile platforms. The Missouri Gaming Commission would regulate the industry. With a proposed 10% tax on sports betting revenue, substantial funds are likely to be generated for public education.

The state's pro teams launched the initiative petition campaign after years of frustration with lawmakers in Jefferson City, where legislation has been stymied over attempts to link sports wagering to regulation of video lottery games. Casinos have opposed that stipulation.

Despite past legislative hurdles, the campaign remains optimistic, buoyed by bipartisan support among Missouri voters, as a recent poll from Emerson College found that around 62% are in favor of the legalization of sports betting. 

While the initiative petition process mirrors past successful efforts, including the legalization of recreational marijuana in Missouri two years ago, changes to the initiative petition process itself are under consideration. This is due in large part to Republican concerns that a proposed ballot measure that would enshrine abortion rights would pass if the current standard, a simple majority of voters, remains in place.

Last week, the Senate passed a resolution to gauge voter opinion on requiring future constitutional amendments via the initiative petition process to secure majorities statewide and in five of Missouri’s eight congressional districts.

Leave your comment
Subscribe to our newsletter
Enter your email to receive the latest news
By entering your email address, you agree to Yogonet's Condiciones de uso and Privacy Policies. You understand Yogonet may use your address to send updates and marketing emails. Use the Unsubscribe link in those emails to opt out at any time.