Missouri Mascots Deliver Sports Betting Signatures To Secretary

Written By Dan Holmes on May 7, 2024
Mascots for Missouri teams delivering signatures to the state Capitol

A bear, a bird, and a lion walk into a state capitol … No, it’s not a joke.

It happened last week when an activist group got some help from some furry and feathered characters. Three mascots from Missouri professional sports teams delivered signatures to the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City in the group’s attempt to get a referendum on November’s ballot.

The mascots delivered more than 300,000 signatures to the Missouri Secretary of State on May 2, just in time to meet the state-mandated deadline. If enough of those signatures are validated, a proposal could be on the ballot this fall to seek an up or down vote on legal sports betting.

Several Professional Sports Teams in Missouri Support Initiative Drive

Winning for Missouri Education has collected signatures from Missouri registered voters over the last several months. The group was created after lawmakers failed to legalize Missouri sports betting the last two legislative sessions. Efforts are expected to fail again this year at the Capitol.

Mascots for the Kansas City Royals (“Sluggerrr” the lion), St. Louis Cardinals (“Fredbird” the cardinal), and the St. Louis Blues (“Louie” the blue bear) were at the statehouse to drop off dozens of boxes containing signatures last week.

Several professional sports teams in the state support the effort for legal sportsbooks, including:

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

The group made a clever decision to use the three popular mascots, characters well-known to fans who attend sporting events in Missouri. The PAC collected most of the signatures at sporting events over the last few months.

Money from Sports Betting Will Fund Education in Missouri

At the Capitol last week, Winning for Missouri Education spokesperson Jack Cardetti said the proposal will benefit schools in the state.

“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.”

The group claims to have submitted 340,000 signatures. That figure is nearly double the 180,000 needed by law to have a ballot initiative placed on the statewide ballot. The deadline for the signatures was May 5.

The next step is for the signatures to be certified by the Secretary of State’s Office. If that happens, Missouri voters can decide if sports betting should be legal in the state, Cardetti said.

“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.”

Photo by AP Photo / Summer Ballentine
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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a contributor for PlayMissouri with plenty of experience under his belt. Dan has written three books about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He also has extensive experience covering the launch of sports betting in other states, including Ohio, Massachusetts and Maryland. Currently, Dan is residing in Michigan with his family.

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