Over 300,000 Signatures Collected In Missouri To Put Sports Betting On Nov. 5 Ballot: Organizers

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Over 300,000 Signatures Collected In Missouri To Put Sports Betting On Nov. 5 Ballot: Organizers
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The organization working with Missouri’s professional sports teams to legalize sports betting in the state said Wednesday more than 300,000 signatures have been collected to put the issue to a public vote.

Winning for Missouri Education said it needs to present the Missouri secretary of state with 180,000 valid signatures by May 5.

JoDonn Chaney, the secretary of state's spokesman, told Gambling.com the signatures would be validated by checking signatures on voter registration documents.

If enough signatures are valid, voters on Nov. 5 would get to decide whether they want a constitutional amendment allowing sports betting to be legal in Missouri.

Jack Cardetti, Winning for Missouri Education spokesperson, said the number of signatures collected to date shows “tremendous support” for sports betting statewide.

“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,” he said.

On Wednesday, Winning for Missouri Education released polling information indicating more than 60% of Missourians support the initiative to legalize sports betting.

During a recent interview on Gambling.com's "The Edge," Gary Jenkins, an attorney and former Kansas City Police Department intelligence detective, predicted the state's residents would vote in favor of legalizing sports betting. He noted that Missourians are going out of state to bet on sports, costing Missouri much-needed revenue.

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

Missouri Would Vote For Sports Betting: Jenkins

Pro Sports Teams Back Signature Effort

According to Fox2Now in St. Louis, the initiative, if approved by voters, "would allow each of Missouri’s 13 casinos and six professional sports teams to offer onsite and mobile sports betting."

The teams involved in the effort are the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, Kansas City Royals, Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Current and St. Louis City soccer teams.

Under the initiative, a 10% tax would be applied to sports betting revenue, generating funding for public education. The Missouri Gaming Commission would regulate sports betting. 

Missouri Surrounded By Legal Sports Betting States

Of the eight states that border Missouri, all except Oklahoma have legal sports betting. Currently, Missouri is one of six states that have universities with athletic teams in the Southeastern Conference but no legal sports betting. With the University of Oklahoma joining the SEC soon, the conference will have university athletic teams in 12 states.

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Larry Henry

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