Professional Sports Teams in Missouri Have Taken the Initiative to Launch a Petition Drive Aiming to Bypass the Stalled Progress in the Senate

January 13, 2024 | Sports Betting

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The professional sports teams in Missouri have taken the initiative to push for the legalization of sports betting through a petition drive, aiming to bypass the stalled progress in the Missouri Senate. This move comes as Missouri is one of the remaining states where sports wagering is illegal, despite the U.S. Supreme Court clearing the way for states to adopt it over five years ago.

The coalition of teams involved in this effort includes the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals, and the Kansas City Current and St. Louis City soccer teams. They have started collecting signatures to qualify for the November ballot, with a deadline in May to submit around 180,000 signatures from registered voters.

The proposed constitutional amendment would grant the 13 casinos and six professional sports teams in Missouri the ability to offer onsite and mobile sports betting. The teams would have control over onsite betting and advertising within a specified distance from their stadiums and arenas. Additionally, two mobile sports betting operators could be licensed directly by the Missouri Gaming Commission.

DraftKings and FanDuel, two prominent sportsbook companies, have each contributed $250,000 to support the ballot initiative. If successful, the initiative would allocate at least $5 million annually from licensing fees and taxes towards problem gambling programs, with the remaining tax revenues directed to education.

The Missouri Senate has faced challenges reaching consensus on sports betting bills in the past, with disagreements over the regulation of slot-machine-style video games in convenience stores and truck stops. The sports teams’ initiative seeks to move forward independently of the Senate and involves significant lobbying efforts by various stakeholders in the state.

SOURCE: News Service Reports.

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