Home » Sports betting initiative could soon be added to Missouri ballot in November

Sports betting initiative could soon be added to Missouri ballot in November

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KCTV) – Voters in Missouri could soon see an initiative to legalize sports betting and fund Missouri classrooms on the November ballot after more than 340,000 signatures were submitted.

The Winning for Missouri Education coalition announced on Thursday, May 2, that more than 340,000 signatures had been officially submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office to allow a sports betting question that would ultimately fund education on the ballot in November for Missouri voters.

If passed, the organization noted that Missouri would join 38 other states that have already legalized the move. The petition would also fund classrooms in Missouri for some of the lowest-paid teachers in the nation.

Estimates have suggested that Missouri residents already place hundreds of millions in bets yearly with illegal, offshore gaming websites or trips to neighboring states to place wagers. With legalization, the petition would halt much of the illegal activity and provide millions each year for classrooms in the Show-Me State.

“As one of only 12 states without legalized sports betting, Missouri took a significant step forward today in ensuring that these revenues stay in Missouri to help our communities and classrooms,” said Jack Cardetti, spokesman for Winning for Missouri Education. “We are grateful for the support from Missouri’s professional sports franchises, who have been crucial in creating the opportunity for Missourians to vote directly on this issue in November.”

To put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot, campaigns are required to turn in about 180,000 valid signatures by May 5. The signatures are then counted by county clerks and the Secretary of State’s Office usually certifies those that are successful around July.

“As Missouri remains one of the few states without legalized sports betting, we are thrilled that more than 340,000 Missourians supported placing this issue on the November ballot. The St. Louis Cardinals are proud to support this initiative, which will boost Missouri’s professional sports teams, our fans, and Missouri classrooms,” said Bill DeWitt III, President of the St. Louis Cardinals.

The organization indicated that representatives from the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, and St. Louis CITY Soccer Club, represented professional teams at a recent news conference.

“The Kansas City Royals are proud to support the Winning for Missouri Education coalition and thankful for all of the Missourians who signed the petition,” said Adam Sachs, Senior Vice-President & Chief External Affairs Officer of the Kansas City Royals, at the press conference. “We stand united with all of Missouri’s professional sports franchises in support of the campaign and believe that it is time for Missourians to have the opportunity to legalize responsible sports betting while generating tens of millions of dollars for our public schools each year.”

The measure would allow residents of the Show-Me State to partake in safe and legal sports betting which will be regulated by the Missouri Gaming Commission. Bets would be taxed at 10% and generate tens of millions of dollars for public education in Missouri.

“As seven of our eight bordering states allow sports betting, it’s time that Missouri is allowed to keep that tax revenue for our classrooms and legalize responsible sports betting that benefits our fans and our sports teams,” said Jason Tein, COO and General Counsel of St. Louis CITY SC. “St. Louis CITY SC is encouraged to see strong statewide support for this issue, and for Missouri education.”

A poll published by Emerson College in February found more than 60% of Missouri residents supported the initiative across party lines. A poll published by Saint Louis University and YouGov gathered the same results in March.

“We thank the many St. Louis Blues fans who signed the petition and are excited that Missouri is one step closer to joining the 38 other states that allow for responsible sports betting,” said St. Louis Blues President and CEO Chris Zimmerman. “Our organization endorses the opportunity for Missourians to vote on legalized sports betting in November to support our state’s educators and students with a new dedicated funding source.”

During one of the busiest sports weekends of the year in 2024, Super Bowl weekend, GeoComply – a company that specializes in compliance solutions for online betting – reported that around 431,000 Missouri residents unsuccessfully attempted to place bets. That marks an increase of 51% compared to the previous year.

“At the Kansas City Current, we are proud to blaze new trails for professional sports, both on and off the pitch. We see this initiative as a great opportunity to help our community and create a new level of fan engagement in women’s sports,” Kansas City Current President Raven Jemison added. “Today marks a pivotal step as we move closer to allowing Missourians to vote on this issue in November, with the goal of providing new dedicated funding to Missouri classrooms.”

The Secretary of State’s Office is set to certify the petition closer to July before the question is officially added to the ballot for voters in November.