Missouri sports leagues announce their own plans for sports betting

Kansas City Chiefs Logo
Image: Shutterstock / University of College

After filing several ballot with the Missouri Secretary of State last November, six of Missouri’s pro sports leagues are ready to start circulating petitions to bring sports betting to the state’s voters via ballot initiative.

Six Missouri pro teams back sports betting petition

The following six teams are part of the initiative:

  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Kansas City Current
  • Kansas City Royals
  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • St. Louis Blues 
  • St. Louis SC 

The PAC behind the initiative is called Winning for Missouri Education. It recently padded its coffers with two $250,000, one coming from DraftKings and the other coming from FanDuel.

“We are united in our goal of supporting the legalization of sports wagering in Missouri in a reasonable, safe and responsible way that is good for our teams, our fans, our Missouri teachers and our other citizens of Missouri,” St. Louis Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III said in a statement.

Petition is separate from sports betting legislative effort

While the legislature does have a sports betting bell to consider from Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, the years-long conflict between VLT supporters and sports betting supporters could result in yet another year of deadlock. Sports teams had said for almost a year now that a referendum could be the answer.

The signature gathering will start this weekend at a St. Louis Cardinals charity event and the next home game featuring the NHL’s St. Louis Blues.

In order to qualify for the ballot, the initiative will need to obtain over 170,000 signatures comprised of 8% of the voting population from six of the eight Congressional districts in the state.

Initiative would legalize retail and online sports betting

The ballot initiative the group will be moving forward with would allow for both retail and online sports betting through the casinos and sports teams within the state.

In addition to giving a mobile sportsbook skin to each casino and sports entity, it would also allow for two standalone online betting licenses in the state.

License for retail operations would cost $250,000 and renew every five years, while online licenses would cost $500,000 with a five-year renewal.

The state would tax 10% of revenue but allow for promotional credit deductions of up to 25% of handle.

Per the name of the PAC, the majority of the revenue generated by sports betting would go to fund education in the state. However, there are funds set aside to cover the operational costs of overseeing sports betting and to the Compulsive Gambling Fund. The Compulsive Gambling Fund will receive 10% of tax revenue annually or $5 million, whichever sum is greater.

Unsurprisingly given the league backing of the effort, the measure would also include comprehensive official league data mandates.

And, unsurprisingly given FanDuel and DraftKings Sportsbooks, the measure would also specifically define fantasy sports as a peer-to-peer endeavor.

While the legislature continues its session, the group behind the petition have until May 5 to collect the needed signatures.