Several past attempts by lawmakers to make sports betting a reality have been met in Missouri with roadblocks. However, recent petitions suggest the game is far from over.
It’s crazy how everything is damn near legal in Missouri except sports betting😒
— r_u_WHIT_it (@Hey_ItsWhit) September 8, 2023
A Group of Pro Sports Teams Takes Action
Amid the legislative setbacks, a group named the Missouri Pro Sports Betting Coalition is stepping up to bring sports betting to MO.
Comprising of the state’s pro sports teams, this group has expressed frustration with the legislative inactivity. As a result, they’ve taken matters into their own hands, filing four petitions to put sports betting on the public ballot.
What’s their goal, you may ask? Well, it’s to revise the Missouri constitution to give sports betting the green light, aiming for a launch no later than December 25, 2025.
The petitions offer a clear roadmap for how they wish sports betting would work in Missouri:
- Online & In-Person Betting: Fans could place their bets both online and in person. Both casinos and sporting venues with a seating capacity of at least 11,500 could become hubs for this activity.
- Licensing Structure: Betting operators would be eligible for one online and one retail license. On top of this, four special licenses would be available exclusively for mobile betting.
- Licensing Fees and Taxes: Mobile betting licenses would carry a fee of $500,000 for a five-year term. All operators would be subject to a tax rate of 10%. Importantly, the revenue generated from these taxes would go to educational initiatives. Moreover, the licensing fees would be directed towards the state’s Compulsive Gambling Prevention Fund.
- What’s Excluded: Notably, daily fantasy sports-style contests aren’t part of the deal. This is because the state has already given daily fantasy sports the thumbs up.
A Path Ahead Paved with Signatures and Votes
For these petitions to truly make a difference, they have to cross several milestones.
First up is a 15-day public comment period where residents can voice their opinions. Once this phase concludes, the state’s Attorney General has to review and approve these petitions.
If all goes well, the petitions could feature on the 2024 election ballot on November 5. But to reach this stage, the coalition must gather signatures from 5% of registered voters in six of Missouri’s eight Congressional districts.
While the path to legalization may seem complicated, it’s essential to understand the why behind it.
In the past, efforts to introduce sports betting in Missouri tangled with the push to legalize video lottery terminals (VLTs), creating unnecessary complications. Many feel that divorcing the two issues could streamline the process.
Notably, even sports team representatives, such as St. Louis Cardinals President Bill DeWitt, have vocalized support for the move. The result? Missouri’s fans and citizens are keen on sports betting, and it’s high time their wishes were honored.
Looking through the Missouri sports betting petitions that were submitted for review on Friday, it certainly appears that the major operators want the option of entering the state without being connected to a pro sports team or casino.
— Steve Bittenbender (@BittGDCG) September 11, 2023
In the past, several attempts by lawmakers to legalize sports betting in Missouri have faced roadblocks.
The Missouri Pro Sports Betting Coalition, comprising the state’s pro sports teams, is stepping up to introduce sports betting in MO.
Their primary goal is to revise the Missouri constitution to allow sports betting, aiming for a launch no later than December 25, 2025.
They propose options for both online and in-person betting at casinos and sporting venues with a specific seating capacity. There are also detailed licensing structures, fees, and exclusions mentioned.
The revenue from the 10% tax rate on operators would be directed towards educational initiatives, while licensing fees would support the state’s Compulsive Gambling Prevention Fund.
Daily fantasy sports-style contests are excluded as the state has already approved them.
They have to undergo a 15-day public comment period, approval from the state’s Attorney General, and gather enough signatures to feature on the 2024 election ballot.
Past efforts tangled with the push to legalize video lottery terminals (VLTs), which added unnecessary complications.
Yes, St. Louis Cardinals President Bill DeWitt has vocalized his support for the move.
Major operators appear to want the option to enter Missouri without necessarily being connected to a pro sports team or casino.
Related newsShow all news
What is Vegas Infinite by PokerStars VR?
Learn about the new Vegas Infinite, a VR and PC experience by PokerStars. Social and thrilling casino games, poker & more in VR.
FanDuel Is Number 1 In Responsible Gaming Education
Explore FanDuel’s commitment to Responsible Gaming, their ambassadors and their gambling limits commercials for safe betting in the US.