Sports betting is gaining popularity in Missouri. A new poll proves it.
Emerson College and Kansas City’s FOX4 conducted the poll and released the results yesterday. It found that 62% of Missouri voters are in favor of legalizing sports betting.
The poll surveyed 1,830 registered voters in the Show Me State. It claimed a margin of error of +/-2.2% on the question:
“Do you support legalizing sports betting to help fund education?”
Nearly 70% of respondents in poll who support legal sports betting were male
For the last several years, lawmakers tried to pass a Missouri sports betting bill. However, Sen. Denny Hoskins regularly thwarted those attempts. Hoskins believes sports betting legislation should include the legalization of video lottery terminals. VLTs closely resemble slot machines and are available in bars and restaurants throughout the state.
As a result of Hoskins’ demands, professional sports teams have banded together to get the sports betting issue before voters in November. With the legislature in turmoil, the ballot initiative might be sports betting’s best bet.
Especially with a majority of Missourians willing to vote ‘Yes’ on the issue.
Just 38% of those surveyed in the poll were against legalizing sports wagering in the state. According to the poll, 69% of male voters supported the proposal, while 57% for females were in favor of legalization.
Currently, seven of Missouri’s eight neighboring states have added sports betting. Jack Cardetti is a spokesperson for Winning for Missouri Education, the political action committee in charge of the initiative’s signature-gathering process.
According to Cardetti, it is time for Missouri to begin getting its piece of the sports betting pie.
“Each year that goes by without legalized sports betting, Missouri loses out on tens of millions of dollars that should be helping fund Missouri education. As this week’s Super Bowl will highlight, Missourians are already placing billions of dollars in bets annually on illegal, offshore websites or in neighboring states, without a penny currently going to our classrooms. Republicans, Democrats, independents and Missourians in every corner of the state want to bring those economic impacts back to the Show Me State to help strengthen our communities and provide tens of millions to education each year.”
Hoskins looms as a roadblock to a legislative path forward
Hoskins has vowed to play obstructionist again in this session of the General Assembly.
With Hoskins acting as an immovable wall, the most viable path to legalization will be through a ballot petition. The Missouri Sports Betting Alliance, which includes representatives of Missouri professional sports teams, has already begun that process.
To get sports betting on the ballot for voters to have the final say, the coalition needs to get 170,000 signatures. If that number is met and voters approve the measure, both retail and mobile sports betting would become legal with a 10% tax rate.