Decision Expected By August Whether Missourians Can Vote On Sports Betting

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Decision Expected By August Whether Missourians Can Vote On Sports Betting
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Missouri voters should know in about three months whether they’ll be able to vote this fall on legalizing sports betting in the state.

If everything checks out, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft could give the go-ahead in August, JoDonn Chaney, secretary of state spokesman, told on Tuesday.

Here’s How Sports Betting Might End Up On The Ballot

On May 2, a coalition wanting to let voters decide on sports betting submitted more than 340,000 signatures to the secretary of state.

That number is about double the total required to get a constitutional amendment on the November ballot. The deadline to submit signatures was May 5.

From there, the 291 boxes of signed documents will go to local election authorities to be validated, Chaney said. The validation process involves checking addresses and voter registration signatures.

The Winning for Missouri Education coalition, which includes the state’s six professional sports teams, needed signatures from six of the state’s eight congressional districts of their choosing.

A minimum of more than 171,000 valid voter signatures is required for a constitutional amendment to end up on the ballot, Chaney said.

By July 30, local officials will return the signatures to the secretary of state, he said.

The secretary of state has two weeks from that point to issue either a certificate of sufficiency or certificate of insufficiency, Chaney said.

That would put the date in mid-August when voters will learn whether they will have a say during the Nov. 5 election on sports betting.

However, a certificate of insufficiency would keep the issue off the November ballot. There would not be an opportunity this year for the coalition to gather additional signatures, Chaney saId.

Where In Missouri Would Sports Betting Be Allowed?

If voters approve the constitutional amendment, sports betting would begin no later than Dec. 1, 2025.

Missouri’s 13 casinos and six professional sports teams would be allowed offer onsite and mobile sports betting.

The teams backing the measure are the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, Kansas City Royals, Kansas City Chiefs and two soccer teams, the Kansas City Current and St. Louis City.

Tax Money Going Out Of State, Attorney Says

Although legislators meeting now in Jefferson City could approve a sports betting bill, that effort has failed in past sessions and so far has been unsuccessful this year. The legislative session is set to end May 17.

Even if lawmakers approve a sports betting bill and the governor signs it, a constitutional amendment approved by voters would “supercede the legislative change,” Chaney said.

Currently, every state bordering Missouri, except Oklahoma, has legal sports betting. Nationwide, sports betting is legal in 38 states and Washington, D.C.

The Winning for Missouri Education coalition has released polling data indicating Missouri voters would approve sports betting.

Recently, attorney Gary Jenkins, a retired Kansas City Police Department intelligence detective, said on’s “The Edge” he believes voters will approve the sports betting ballot question.

Jenkins stressed Missouri is losing revenue when people cross from there into neighboring states to place sports bets.

“We’re losing millions and millions in tax dollars,” Jenkins said.

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