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Missouri Sports Betting Inches Closer To An Election Day Decision

Missouri sports betting has been hotly debated in the state’s legislative chambers. However, legalization may come not from lawmakers, but from Missouri citizens themselves.

A coalition, titled Winning for Missouri Education and spearheaded by the state’s professional sports teams, is moving to get an initiative on the ballot this coming Election Day. If that measure passes, Missouri sports betting could go live as early as next year.

More on possible Missouri sports betting legalization

A report from The Missouri Independent shed light on Winning for Missouri Education, which was formed late last year in response to mounting frustrations over the inability to legalize sports betting in the Show-Me State. The coalition includes teams like the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals and, judging by the numbers reported this week, has plenty of support.

Petitions put forth by the campaign have amassed more than 300,000 signatures, per a recent news release. If verified by Missouri’s Secretary of State, that’s well beyond the threshold to make it onto the ballot this November.

Spokesman Jack Cardetti displayed plenty of enthusiasm in his organization’s press release, where he said the following:

“As the campaign approaches our goal of putting this on the November ballot, Missouri is a step closer to allowing Missouri adults to bet on sports, while generating tens of millions in annual funding for our classrooms.”

The measure proposed by the coalition would tax Missouri sports betting operators at a 10% rate. Revenue generated by the industry, estimated at roughly $29 million each year, would support in-state education programs.

FanDuel and DraftKings drive the movement

A report filed Monday showed that FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook are actively funding Winning for Missouri Education. The titans of the industry have combined to contribute more than $6 million to this point, with the coalition spending a bit more than half that number.

Sportsbooks joining forces to spur legalization efforts isn’t unprecedented. Most notably, online sportsbooks did so in California two years ago as part of the most expensive ballot initiative battle in history. That didn’t go well, with Proposition 27 losing in a landslide, so those operators are clearly hoping for better results here.

The long Missouri sports betting fight

Missouri sports betting is currently not legal, but it isn’t for a lack of trying. Over the past several years, the state legislature has considered several pieces of legislation that would legalize sports betting in Missouri.

However, they’ve all gotten stonewalled in the Missouri Senate. Sen. Denny Hoskins has used his power to insist any Missouri sports betting bill also include video lottery terminals. These are considered separate issues by most of his colleagues, but Hoskins and his allies have been able to use their power to kill several relevant bills.

That’s in stark contrast to several polls that indicate sports betting is approved by most of the state. A pair of early-2024 polls indicate that more than 60% of Missourians surveyed would support in-state sports betting.

If that margin holds on Election Day, Missouri sports betting could finally be a reality. If the measure is defeated, however, there’s still some reason for optimism. Sen. Hoskins is term-limited and cannot run for re-election this November. His departure is no guarantee legislation will pass, but the removal of a longtime obstructionist could make any battles during next year’s legislative session a bit easier for advocates.


  • Andrew Champagne

    Andrew Champagne is a Senior Editor at Raketech. A passionate storyteller, handicapper, and analyst, Andrew lives in Northern California's Bay Area. He can often be found planning his next trip to Las Vegas, bowling reasonably well, or golfing incredibly poorly.