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Fiona Simmons January 15, 2024 2 min read
Missouri Sports Teams Launch Petition to Legalize Betting
Teams are saying that responsible betting will provide benefits to the sports sector, its fans and Missouri as a whole
Professional sports clubs in Missouri have launched a petition to get sports betting legalized. Seeking to avoid the Senate, the teams are trying to get the measure to appear on the November ballot.
This is not the first attempt to launch legal sports betting in the state, although previous measures have failed to gain significant traction in the state. However, teams are bullish on trying again, saying that responsible betting will provide benefits to the sports sector, its fans and Missouri as a whole.
For reference, Missouri is one of the few states that are yet to allow wagering on sports. Since the repeal of the PASPA in 2018, almost four in five states have launched some form of betting. The latest to join this trend include Vermont, where sports betting just went live, and North Carolina, which is set to launch legal wagering by the summer.
However, proponents of betting in the dozen remaining states where the vertical is yet to be legalized are likely to have an uphill battle because of the current political and economic climate.
Big Teams and Gambling Companies Support the Initiative
The Missouri teams in favor of sports betting include major local players, such as the Kansas City Chiefs, the Kansas City Current, the Kansas City Royals, the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues and St. Louis City. It also has the support of DraftKings and FanDuel, which contributed $250,000 each to create a campaign committee for the initiative.
The teams are actively seeking support for their petition, gathering signatures from sports fans across the state.
The measure needs to gather at least 180,000 signatures to qualify for the November ballot. If approved, it would allow Missouri’s 13 casinos and six professional sports teams to offer retail and online sports betting. Under the measure, teams would be in charge of sports betting and advertising within 400 yards of their stadiums. In addition, two mobile sports betting operators will be able to apply for online wagering licenses.
The legalization of sports betting would provide roughly $5 million in licensing fees a year. This money would then fund a variety of initiatives, including problem gambling treatment and state education.
Under the measure, sports betting will go live by December 1, 2025.