Missouri Sports Betting Ballot Initiate Gathers over 300,000 Signatures

USA Legal Betting


  • The effort needed just 180,000 signatures to succeed
  • The Missouri Secretary of State is currently verifying the signatures gathered
  • Missouri sports betting came one step closer to becoming a reality this week

Missouri may soon join the growing ranks of legal sports betting states.

The Winning for Missouri Education (WME) coalition announced that they have gathered over 300,000 signatures, which they have submitted to the Missouri Secretary of State. The effort is part of a ballot initiative that would put legal sports betting on the ballot in November, circumventing the state legislature to allow the public to decide. The effort needed at least 180,000 signatures to succeed, which they almost doubled.

“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 St. Louis Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III.

With the signatures submitted, the Secretary of State’s office will need to count and verify the signatures. As long as at least 180,000 signatures are verified, it will put the issue of legalizing sports betting on the ballot in November.

The WME coalition includes the state’s pro sports teams, which helped them gather so many signatures ahead of the deadline.

Proposal Would Allow for Large Market

The proposal from WME to legalize sports betting would allow Missouri to have a large market. All the state’s pro sports organizations and casinos will be allowed to partner with one of the industry’s betting sites along with the ability to open a retail location.

That would allow for the state to have over 10 different online sportsbooks operating in the state. While the number of operators continues to dwindle, the proposed 10% tax rate could lure plenty of operators to set up in the Show Me State.

Missouri Legislation Deadlocked Over Sports Betting

The WME’s ballot initiative comes after years of deadlock in the Missouri state legislation. While there has been strong support for legalizing sports betting, state Senator Denny Hoskins has been using the filibuster to prevent any bills from becoming legal. That has led the WME to form to look for a workaround, even though another sports betting bill is currently working its way through the system.

The most frustrating part of this for proponents of the industry is that Hoskins objections are not against sports betting in general. Instead, he is attempting to force controversial video lottery terminals (VTE) into any sports betting bill. The companies behind the VTE are a donor of Haskins, which has led him to attempt to force the issue.

While there is some support for the legalization of VTE’s, it is far less than sports betting. That has led to many legislatures calling for the two to remain separate, allowing them to vote on them independently. Hoskins has refused to back down over the issue for years and is expected to once again kill the bill the legislature is currently considering.

Effort Comes at Inopportune Time for Sports Betting

Support for sports betting has remained strong, but the industry has come under fire over the last year. A spike in problem and illegal gambling has led to calls for increased regulations. That could lead to voters wanting to wait for those regulations before opening the Missouri sports betting market.