Petition for Sports Betting in Missouri Reaches Over 340,000 Signatures

A number of Missouri’s professional sports teams have garnered over 340,000 signatures as part of the ballot proposal that lobbies to legalize sports betting in the state.

Part of the petition’s proponents is the coalition Winning for Missouri Education, which consists of six professional sports teams St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, Kansas City Chiefs, the Kansas City Royals, and the Kansas City Current and St. Louis City soccer teams.

The petition needed 180,000 verified signatures to make it onto the November ballot. It has far exceeded that prior to the 5 May deadline, also passing a target of 325,000 set in April.

The team mascots offered their assistance in hauling the boxes filled with voter signatures to the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office in Jefferson City. Among the mascots were the Cardinals’ mascot Fredbird, Royals’ Sluggerrr and St. Louis Blues’ mascot Louie.

Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and his office now have the unenviable task of validating the voter signatures before the proposal officially makes it on the ballot.

What is the State of Sports Betting In Missouri?

As of this writing, sports betting is allowed in a total of 38 states, including the District of Columbia. Meanwhile, 30 states and Washington D.C. allow online wagering. Missouri, on the other hand, is one of the few states in the Midwestern region of the US currently that has not yet legalized sports betting in its territory. 

The Missouri initiative is an attempt to sidestep the Senate, where bills to allow sports betting have repeatedly stalled. Missouri is one of just a dozen states where sports wagering remains illegal more than five years after the US Supreme Court cleared the way for states to adopt it.

Jack Cardetti, a spokesman for the campaign, stated that they 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.

The proposed constitutional amendment would allow each of Missouri’s 13 casinos and six professional sports teams to offer onsite and mobile sports betting. Part of the amendment would give teams control over onsite betting and advertising within 400 yards (or 366 meters) of their stadiums and arenas. On top of this, two mobile sports betting operators that are licensed directly by the Missouri Gaming Commission will also be put into place to further set the foundation for regulated sports betting in the state.

As for the potential revenue that will be accrued from the players and operators, at least $5 million annually in licensing fees and taxes would go toward problem gambling programs, with remaining tax revenues going toward elementary, secondary and higher education. In the event that this initiative is approved by voters, the state’s legislators and regulators would need to begin launching sports betting in The Show-Me State no later than December 1, 2025.

Are Online Casinos Legal in Missouri?

With the recent developments in sports betting, the same cannot be said for the status of online casinos in Missouri. Online casinos are still not allowed in The Show-Me State: players who want to experience playing slot games and table games can do so by accessing the social casinos. Social casinos offer free virtual coins that players can use to play their favorite casino games. However, they cannot exchange this currency as well as whatever amount they win into real money.

Currently, there are seven US states that allow online casinos. These are New Jersey, Delaware, Michigan, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Rhode Island.

That said, if sports betting does become legal in Missouri, it can open the dialogue for the possibility of allowing online casinos down the line. Only time will tell.

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