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Missouri Secretary of State receives over 340K signatures to put sports betting initiative on November ballot

Jay Ashcroft
Posted at 3:33 PM, May 02, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Winning for Missouri Education coalition submitted more than 340,000 signatures supporting a sports betting initiative to Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft's office.

The signatures ensure an initiative that would legalize sports betting in Missouri if passed will appear on the state's November ballot.

“As one of only 12 states without legalized sports betting, Missouri took a significant step forward today in ensuring that these revenues stay in Missouri to help our communities and classrooms,” Winning for Missouri Education spokesman Jack Cardetti said in a written statement. “We are grateful for the support from Missouri's professional sports franchises, who have been crucial in creating the opportunity for Missourians to vote directly on this issue in November.”

The coalition surpassed the 180,000 signatures needed by May 5 to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot.

The initiative is being led by six professional Missouri sports franchises, including the Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Current.

“The Kansas City Royals are proud to support the Winning for Missouri Education coalition and thankful for all of the Missourians who signed the petition,” said Adam Sachs, Kansas City Royals senior vice-president & chief external affairs officer. “We stand united with all of Missouri’s professional sports franchises in support of the campaign and believe that it is time for Missourians to have the opportunity to legalize responsible sports betting, while generating tens of millions of dollars for our public schools each year.”

Winning for Missouri Education says that Missourians currently place hundreds of millions in sports bets each year through illegal websites and by traveling across state lines.

If the initiative was approved, betting would be taxed at 10%, creating a pipeline to fund public education.

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“At the Kansas City Current, we are proud to blaze new trails for professional sports, both on and off the pitch. We see this initiative as a great opportunity to help our community and create a new level of fan engagement in women’s sports," Kansas City Current President Raven Jemison said. "Today marks a pivotal step as we move closer to allowing Missourians to vote on this issue in November, with the goal of providing new dedicated funding to Missouri classrooms.”

Kansas legalized sports betting in 2022.

More than $1.5 billion was wagered in the state in the first year after betting was legalized.

KSHB 41 News reached out to Ashcroft's office for comment. This story will be updated if a response is received.