New Missouri Sports Betting Poll to Release in August

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Jun 17, 2024 12:00 AM
Saint Louis University will reportedly release a Missouri sports betting poll this August as the push to legalize gambling continues.

How do residents of the Show-Me State feel about the potential legalization of Missouri sports betting? 

Saint Louis University and YouGov are apparently going to find out.

According to Legal Sports Report, a new Missouri sports betting poll will be released this August. It is not immediately clear how many participants will be included, or what the study will be specifically. But it’s bound to shed clarity on how people feel about sports betting in Missouri as the state prepares to potentially include a new gambling initiative on the November general electoral ballot.

Results of New Poll May Show Whether Voter Sentiment on Missouri Sports Betting Has Evolved 

This announcement is significant for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the survey will show how (or if) Missouri sports betting opinions have changed over the past year-and-a-half.

Back in February 2023, YouGov and Saint Louis University conducted what (we will assume) is the exact same poll. The results showed that respondents were pretty split on whether they wanted top online sportsbooks in the United States to enter the market. Here’s what the survey showed:

“When asked by the SLU/YouGov Poll in February 2023 if betting on collegiate and professional sports should be legal in Missouri, 35 percent of Missouri voters agreed, and 41 percent disagreed. Voters in rural areas are less in favor of legalizing sports betting than urban and suburban voters. 24 percent of rural voters agreed that betting on sports should be legal in Missouri, 34 percent of urban voters, and 43 percent of suburban voters. There was also a contrast between younger and older voters. 51 percent of voters aged 18-29 agreed that betting on collegiate and professional sports should be legal in Missouri, compared to only 23 percent of voters aged 65+.”

These results do not portray a very high approval rating for online Missouri sports betting. And while sentiment can (and will) change, you have to wonder whether enough time has passed. This data is from less than two years ago. Should we really expect there to be a significant shift?

Pro Sports Teams Certainly Seem to Think Missouri Voters will Support the Legalization of Gambling

The answer to the above question will apparently be made official in just a couple months. However, pro sports teams in Missouri are already banking on a majority of voters approving the legalization of gambling.

A collection of franchises recently submitted a petition to put a Missouri sports betting bill on the November 2024 ballot. Teams have apparently grown weary of the dialogue inside the Missouri Senate, specifically. That’s where multiple attempts to legalize sports betting in the Show-Me state have failed. Though a number of roadblocks have presented themselves over the years, a recurring disagreement over the inclusion of video lottery terminals in any bill has derailed at least two initiatives.

By submitting a petition, Missouri’s pro sports teams are attempting to circumvent that course of approval. Their filing included over 350,000 signatures. According to Missouri state law, if at least 170,000 signatures are validated, then Missouri sports betting will be on the November ballot.

Given how many total names are on the document, we can’t help but think this part of the process will be successful. The original filing includes more than double the amount of necessary signatures. That gives the proposal plenty of margin for error.

Still, the same question remains: Will Missouri sports betting be legalized this November? Or will we come to find that issues in the Senate aren’t the only obstacles sports gambling supporters face?

More Recent Polls Have Sent Mixed Messages on the Subject of Sports Betting in Missouri

It’s one thing to guess that a Missouri sports betting proposal will appear on the November ballot. It’s another to predict outright legalization. For our part, we’re prepared to go that far just yet. 

Other polls conducted since the February 2023 survey have sent mixed messages, many of which we’ve covered here. Certain studies show that a majority of Missouri voters want sports bettors. Other surveys suggest that Missouri sports betting advocates may still be in the minority.

Granted, these polls are far from perfect. It can be hard to encapsulate the opinion of an entire state population in a smaller sample size. But the warring results suggest that the overarching view of legal sports betting in Missouri is up in the air.

In fact, on some level, it feels like the teams sponsoring the latest sports betting bill are simply banking on the rise of gambling throughout the United States swaying Missouri voters. At this writing, 38 of 50 states offer some form of legal sports betting. A handful of others have proposed and debated numerous pieces of legislation—including Missouri Some experts even believe a few more states will legalize sports betting over the next two years.

That prevalence can definitely influence people in other states like Missouri. Legal sports betting in the United States remains a hotly debated topic, even in markets that have legalized it. However, there’s no denying it’s also considered more of a normal practice than it was in 2023, when Saint Louis University and YouGov conducted their last poll.

So will Missouri sports betting be legalized in 2024? We’ll know soon enough. It starts with the petition successfully resulting in an official ballot measure. It ends with the voters themselves. And while some of their voices will be heard in August, the real conclusion, it seems, will come this November.

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Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan first began writing about sports back in 2011. At the time, his expertise lied in the NBA and NFL. More than one decade, that remains the case. But he's also expanded his catalog to include extensive knowledge and analysis on the NHL, MLB, tennis, NASCAR, college ba...

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