Missouri Sports Teams Rally Over 300K Signatures for Betting Ballot Measure

Despite the ongoing delay of Missouri sports betting legislation in the House, a significant development emerged as a ballot initiative.

Winning for Missouri Education, a campaign aimed at legalizing sports betting and increasing state revenue for education, revealed on Wednesday that it has successfully exceeded its target of gathering 300,000 signatures.

“The tremendous support we’ve seen throughout the state is a testament to Missourians’ readiness to bring sports betting revenue home and support our local schools, students, and teachers in the process,” Winning for Missouri Education spokesperson Jack Cardetti said in a press statement.

This stride aims to introduce a Missouri sports betting proposition on the ballot for November 2024. To secure its place on the ballot, the campaign must submit over 170,000 valid signatures to the Missouri Secretary of State by May 5th.

“As the campaign approaches our goal of putting this on the November ballot, Missouri is a step closer to allowing Missouri adults to bet on sports while generating tens of millions in annual funding for our classrooms.”

“Winning for Missouri Education” Campaign Garners Support from Pro Teams

Backed by Missouri’s six professional teams, the Winning for Missouri Education campaign gained a lot of traction in terms of signature gathering. Prominent sports clubs like the Kansas City Chiefs, St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, Kansas City Royals, and the Kansas City Current and St. Louis City are among those who favor legalizing gambling in the state.

According to studies from Emerson College and Saint Louis University, more than 60% of Missourians support the effort. Proponents are trying to collect twice as many signatures as they need to demonstrate their strong support for sports betting.

“The campaign continues to urge Missourians to lend their support as it prepares for this next phase of the campaign, aiming to secure a victory for education funding in November,” a Wednesday’s press release noted.

Hoskins Standing as a Roadblock to Sports Betting Legislation

Sen. Denny Hoskins has been a major roadblock to the sports betting bill, as his proposal to include video lottery terminals (VLTs) in the sports betting legislation is not supported by other lawmakers. Hence, he pledged to remain an obstacle until his demands were satisfied. While he remains adamant, time is of the essence because the legislative session is scheduled to end on May 17.

Nevertheless, motivated by these disappointments, Missouri’s six professional sports teams teamed up under the motto Winning for Missouri Education. The goal is to seek direct voter approval for sports betting instead of going through the legislative process.

Sports Betting Legislature Targets Proceeds to Educational Sector

Missouri’s proposed sports betting law will authorize mobile sportsbook operators to provide online betting for residents and give the go-ahead for sports wagering at the state’s 13 riverboat casinos. If the plan is signed into law, it may greatly increase spending on education.

The proposal suggests levying a 10% tax on sports betting profits to raise money for public education. Oversight of sports betting would fall under the jurisdiction of the Missouri Gaming Commission.

Legislative experts’ budgetary study reveals that regulated sports betting may provide an additional $7 million to school spending in only the first year of implementation.

However, Hoskins continues to stand in opposition to the measure, citing his latest concern over the allocated funds for addressing gambling-related harm. Hoskins argues that the proposed $5 million earmarked for compulsive gambling treatment, as advocated by sports teams, falls short of what is necessary.

About the Author
Tebearau Egbe

Tebearau Egbe

Tebearau Egbe is a seasoned gambling writer with more than four years of experience. Armed with a Masters degree in philosophy, Egbe possesses a unique ability to dissect complex industry developments, distilling them into insightful narratives that captivate readers.

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