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Last week, a Jefferson City lawyer filed nine ballot proposals aimed at allowing Missouri residents to vote on whether they want regulated and taxed sports betting to exist in their state, an issue that has for years failed to gain traction in the Show-Me State’s GOP-led legislature.
Since 2019, more than 20 potential sports betting bills have been filed and rejected by Missouri lawmakers, but industry leaders are convinced that state residents would be in favor of legalizing and taxing the sports betting that already occurs there.
In a joint statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the professional sports teams who would benefit from such a measure explained why they are in favor of putting the controversial issue up to a public vote:
We are united in our goal of supporting a responsible Missouri sports wagering law that is good for our teams, our fans, and the citizens of the great state of Missouri.
Three professional St. Louis teams and one from Kansas City would benefit from these ballots.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the nine ballot proposals were filed on behalf of four area professional sports teams: St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, St. Louis City Soccer Club, and the Kansas City Royals.
In their statement to the press, the teams expressed why they were in support of letting Missouri residents vote on this issue:
Each of our organizations supports the legalization of sports wagering in Missouri as a way to increase engagement with our fans and provide a fun and exciting new way to enjoy sports and root for our teams. We also believe that sports wagering will generate a significant new source of tax revenue for Missouri.
There are millions of dollars at stake here, money that could benefit Missouri residents in several ways.
If Missouri voters decided to legalize sports betting in their state, the millions of dollars that sports bettors are already spending on gambling via offshore sportsbooks and in neighboring states where it is already legal would be redirected homewards.
Revenue projections for Missouri’s proposed sports betting market are estimated at around $12 million based on a tax rate that could vary between 6.75% and 21%, up from prior proposed rates that ranged from 6.25% and 9%.
Under the nine proposals that were just filed, money from sports betting tax revenue would be split between schools and roads, two areas that would benefit residents directly.
Though those potential millions in sports betting tax revenue are just a drop in the bucket compared to Missouri’s $35+ billion annual budget, it’s money that is already being spent by gamblers, so it makes good sense to find a way for those funds to directly benefit the state.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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