New SLU/YouGov Poll: 60% Of Missourians Support Legal Sports Betting

Written By Dan Holmes on March 13, 2024
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A recent poll reveals Missouri residents support legalizing sports betting, but they are split on whether betting should be permitted on college sports.

Saint Louis University and YouGov partnered on a sweeping public opinion poll conducted from February 14-26. They surveyed 900 residents of Missouri over those dates, asking a series of questions about national, state, and local issues.

Of the respondents, 60% indicated they support legal sports betting in Missouri. Only 25% were opposed to it, and 14% were not sure. That means nearly three-fourths of survey respondents are in favor or do not have an opinion on legal sportsbooks in MO.

47% of MO residents support betting on college sports

College sports betting, especially football, is tremendously popular in the United States. In many jurisdictions, college sports (primarily football and basketball) trails only the NFL in total wagers placed. But the 900 Missouri citizens surveyed in the SLU/YouGov poll were split on the topic of collegiate sports betting.

Answers to the question, “Should betting on collegiate sports be legal in MO?” showed that just under half (47%) said yes. Another 39% responded NO, and 14% of respondents were unsure.

The vast majority of states allow betting on college sports. However, some have restrictions. Those include no betting allowed on in-state teams or on games or matches taking place inside state lines.

In a previous poll from Emerson College and FOX4 Kansas City, 62% of respondents supported legal sports betting.

The different routes to legal sports betting currently on the table

Currently, those in favor of Missouri sports betting have a few options to root for.

The most likely option is a ballot initiative put forth by Winning for Missouri Education, a PAC collecting signatures for the initiative backed by $3 million in funding from DraftKings and FanDuel. The group has already eclipsed 100,000 signatures. That makes the target of 180,000 to reach by May 5 to land on the November ballot feel like a breeze.

Another option comes from the Missouri Legislature. House Bill 2331 has passed through two committees and is expected to be debated on the House floor this week. However, if it passes the House, Sen. Denny Hoskins stands in the way in the Senate. He has previously blocked sports betting legislation and has said he’d only support a bill that legalizes video lottery terminals.

A newly filed bill — HB 2835 — addresses Hoskins’ concerns by legalizing both sports betting and VLTs. But it hasn’t even had a committee hearing yet.

Chiefs fans have been unable to wager on Super Bowl champs

This is the golden age for the Kansas City Chiefs, winners of three of the past five Super Bowls, and the past two. Yet, football-crazed fans in Missouri have been unable to wager on Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and the Chiefs. That glaring fact may have a lot to do with why some lawmakers and many residents in Missouri are clamoring for a legal betting market.

Missouri is one of only four states with as many as two major professional sports teams that do not have some form of regulated sports betting market. The state is home to the Chiefs and Kansas City Royals. Four neighboring states — Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Kansas — have legal online sports betting.

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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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