Winning for Missouri Education Submits Over 340,000 Signatures to Legalize Sports Betting

May 3, 2024 | Sports Betting

Winning for Missouri Education

JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri (May 2, 2024) —  According to local media reports ‘The Winning for Missouri Education coalition‘ officially submitted over 340,000 signatures to place a sports betting initiative that would help fund education on Missouri’s November ballot. If passed by voters, the initiative, which is being led by Missouri’s six professional sports franchises, would allow Missouri to join 38 other states in legalizing sports betting, generating tens of millions of dollars annually for public education.

The ‘Kirksville Daily Expressreported that estimates suggest that Missourians currently place hundreds of millions in bets each year either by using illegal, offshore gaming websites, or by driving to neighboring states to place wagers. By legalizing sports gaming in Missouri, the initiative petition would halt much of this activity and instead provide tens of millions of dollars annually for Missouri classrooms, where teachers are some of the lowest paid in the entire country.

“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, spokesman for 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.”

To place a constitutional amendment on the November ballot, campaigns must turn in roughly 180,000 valid signatures to the Missouri Secretary of State by May 5. The signatures are then counted by county clerks and the Secretary of State’s Office usually certifies successful campaigns for the ballot around July.

Representatives from the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, and St. Louis CITY SC, represented Missouri’s professional sports teams at the press conference. “As Missouri remains one of the few states without legalized sports betting, we are thrilled that more than 340,000 Missourians supported placing this issue on the November ballot. The St. Louis Cardinals are proud to support this initiative, which will boost Missouri’s professional sports teams, our fans, and Missouri classrooms,” said Bill DeWitt III, president of the St. Louis Cardinals.

The measure would allow Missourians to participate in safe and legal sports betting, regulated by the Missouri Gaming Commission. Sports wagering would be taxed at 10 percent and generate tens of millions of dollars for Missouri public education.

“The Kansas City Royals are proud to support the Winning for Missouri Education coalition and thankful for all of the Missourians who signed the petition,” said Adam Sachs, Senior Vice-President & Chief External Affairs Officer of the Kansas City Royals, at the press conference. “We stand united with all of Missouri’s professional sports franchises in support of the campaign and believe that it is time for Missourians to have the opportunity to legalize responsible sports betting, while generating tens of millions of dollars for our public schools each year.”

An Emerson College poll published in February as well as a poll published in March by Saint Louis University (SLU) and YouGov, found over 60 percent of Missourians supported the initiative to legalize sports betting, with both Democrats and Republicans, as well as rural and urban corners of the state, supporting it.

On behalf of St. Louis CITY SC, Jason Thein, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, added, “As seven of our eight bordering states allow sports betting, it’s time that Missouri is allowed to keep that tax revenue for our classrooms and legalize responsible sports betting that benefits our fans and our sports teams. St. Louis CITY SC is encouraged to see strong statewide support for this issue, and for Missouri education.”

Over one of the busiest sports weekends of the year, Super Bowl weekend, GeoComply, a company specializing in compliance solutions for online betting, reported approximately 431,000 residents of Missouri tried but failed to place bets in, marking a significant increase of 51 percent compared to the previous year.

The St. Louis Blues also added their support with Chris Zimmerman, president and CEO of Business Operations, stating, “We thank the many St. Louis Blues fans who signed the petition and are excited that Missouri is one step closer to joining the 38 other states that allow for responsible sports betting. Our organization endorses the opportunity for Missourians to vote on legalized sports betting in November to support our state’s educators and students with a new dedicated funding source.”

Kansas City Current President, Raven Jemison added, “At the Kansas City Current, we are proud to blaze new trails for professional sports, both on and off the pitch. We see this initiative as a great opportunity to help our community and create a new level of fan engagement in women’s sports. Today marks a pivotal step as we move closer to allowing Missourians to vote on this issue in November, with the goal of providing new dedicated funding to Missouri classrooms.”

SOURCE: Kirksville Daily Express.

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