Missouri pro teams back new push to legalize sports betting in state

Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 6:30 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Missouri may soon have another chance to legalize sports betting.

The Missouri Secretary of State’s office confirms Missouri’s Pro Sports Coalition filed four sports wagering ballot initiative petitions on Friday. The Pro Sports Coalition is made up of professional sports teams in the state.

The petitions ask for a revision to the Missouri State Constitution to make sports wagering legal in the Show-Me State no later than Dec. 31, 2025.

The petitions argue sports betting will provide substantial tax revenue, including a 10% tax on the companies awarded sports betting licenses. According to the petitions the tax money collected would go to fund elementary, secondary, and higher education.

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Physical sports books could be located in casinos and any Missouri stadium or arena where a professional sports team plays home games and has a capacity of at least 11,500 people, according to the petition.

People wishing to use online sports betting platforms would be required to be at least 21 years old and physically be in Missouri to place a bet.

In addition to taxes and fees, companies and platforms would need to pay for a retail license. Mobile versions of the license would cost as much as $500,000. Licenses for physical retail locations would cost up to $250,000 and would need to be renewed every five years. The licensing fees would reimburse expenses to regulate sports wagering. The rest would be deposited into the Compulsive Gambling prevention Fund, according to the ballot petition language.

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Filing the petitions is just the first step in a lengthy process for supporters. The Secretary of State’s Office is now accepting comments on the issue. Missourians can leave comments online by going to the Missouri Secretary of State website. The four petitions involving sports wagering are:

  • 2024-135
  • 2024-136
  • 2024-137
  • 2024-138

The Missouri Secretary of State’s office says it will review all comments left and work to make sure the petitions meets all legal requirements. If one, or all, of the petitions are eventually approved, supporters can begin gathering signatures. If enough signatures are gathered by the deadline and the ballot language is approved, the issue will be added to a 2024 election for voters to decide.