Missouri Sports Betting Question Likely Going Before Voters in November

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A campaign to bring legal sports betting to Missouri this week submitted more than the necessary number of signatures from state voters to initiate a ballot referendum during the November election.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrates at Arrowhead Stadium following a November game in 2021. The next time Mahomes takes the field in an NFL championship game, Missouri could be home to legal sports betting. (Image: Getty)

Winning for Missouri Education on Thursday presented Missouri State Secretary Jay Ashcroft’s (R) office with over 340,000 voter signatures expressing support for a statewide ballot referendum to amend the state constitution to permit gambling on professional and college sports.

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, spokesperson for Winning for Missouri Education.

For a citizen-led constitutional amendment proposal to reach the ballot in 2024, Ashcroft’s office must validate a minimum of 171,592 signatures. With a safety net of more than 168,000 signatures, the odds appear strong that Missourians will be faced with the gambling expansion question during the Nov. 5 presidential election. 

Senate Sidestep

Winning for Missouri Education was formed by several of the state’s professional sports franchises after sports betting legislation repeatedly failed in the General Assembly.

The Senate is where the measures stalled in the most recent legislative sessions, as state Sen. Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg) filibustered sports betting’s passage in the upper chamber. Hoskins favors the legalization of sports gambling but insists the legislature regulate controversial skill gaming machines concurrently.

The NFL Kansas City Chiefs, MLB Kansas City Royals, MLB St. Louis Cardinals, NHL St. Louis Blues, and MLS Kansas City Current and St. Louis City soccer clubs subsequently took the sports gambling matter into their own hands with 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,” said Cardetti.

The Kansas City Chiefs have won the last two Super Bowls and three of the past five, but no Chiefs fans looking to place some action on the team have been able to do so in Missouri. Many Missouri sports fans have been traveling to neighboring states where online sports betting is allowed, including Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas.

Sports Betting Question 

If Ashcroft’s office validates the necessary number of signatures, Missourians in November would vote on the next U.S. president but also on whether to allow sports gambling in the Show-Me State. If a simple majority of the vote backs the sports betting question, Missouri would join 38 other states and the District of Columbia in passing laws to govern such gambling.

Each of the state’s 13 riverboat casinos would qualify to offer retail and online sports betting through a single skin, or partner. The state’s six professional sports teams would be granted the same access. The Missouri Gaming Commission would additionally be allowed to license two mobile sports betting operators untethered to a brick-and-mortar casino or pro sports franchise.

The referendum dictates that the first $5 million in state tax revenue received from sportsbooks go towards problem gambling initiatives. The remaining state benefit would go towards public education.

The post Missouri Sports Betting Question Likely Going Before Voters in November appeared first on Casino.org.

 

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