Missouri’s Pro-Team-Led Sports Betting Initiative Campaign Gains Ground

Winning for Missouri Education has landed 100,000 of the 180,000 signatures needed to place issue on November ballot.

Feb 28, 2024 • 15:00 ET • 4 min read
Alec Burleson MLB St. Louis Cardinals
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

A Missouri coalition is gaining ground in its push to get a sports betting initiative on the ballot in 2024. 

Winning for Missouri Education, a political action committee organized by pro sports teams, has landed 100,000 of the 180,000 signatures needed to get sports betting in front of voters.

The campaign leaders have to provide the necessary signatures to Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft by May 5 to make the November ballot.

“We are seeing strong support in the signature gathering effort because Missourians know it is time to legalize sports betting and use the funding for education,” campaign spokesman Jack Cardetti said in a release. “It’s not only good for our economy but will support our teachers and future generations of Missourians for years to come.”   

Funding initiative 

Winning for Missouri Education also provided quotes from residents who signed the petition. Kerry from St. Louis said, “I drive across the river to Illinois to place bets now. I think this money should stay in Missouri.”

Led by the St. Louis Cardinals, the pro sports team group includes the St. Louis Blues, Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis SC, and Kansas City Current. They are backed by both FanDuel and DraftKings, two sports betting operators that are helping fund the PAC’s campaign. 

The coalition was created because of the Missouri legislation’s inability to pass a Missouri sports betting bill through the Senate after several attempts. Video lottery terminals and the tax structure have been recurring roadblocks. 

What are the odds?

House Bill 2331, which would bring casino riverboat and online sports wagering to the Show Me State, was introduced in 2024. If lawmakers can pass it before the May deadline, the coalition will drop its initiative.

However, based on Missouri’s history, it might not be likely.

If Winning for Missouri Education can get the needed signatures on the petition, voters, not lawmakers, will have the opportunity to decide if sports betting is best for the Show Me State. 

The coalition’s initiative includes a structure with casinos and pro sports teams each getting one license. Two online licenses would be granted to sportsbook operators.

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