JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A coalition of Missouri’s six professional sports teams has backed a new effort to legalize sports betting in the Show Me State.

The coalition filed four ballot initiative petitions that address “sports wagering” to the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office late last week. The coalition consists of the St. Louis Cardinals, Blues, CITY SC and three Kansas City teams.

The petitions call for changes within the Missouri State Constitution to legalize sports betting by Dec. 31, 2025. The coalition wants a plan that would allow sports betting at sites run through their sports teams and Missouri’s casinos.

Through an initiative petition, sports betting could potentially end up on Missouri ballots by November 2024. For that to happen, Ashcroft’s office must approve an initiative summary, then supporters would need to gather roughly 180,000 signatures by next May to qualify for the ballot deadline.

Bill DeWitt III, president of the St. Louis Cardinals, told FOX 2 last May that an initiative petition was a strong possibility after a sports legislation bill failed to clear the Missouri Senate.

“All pro sports teams in Missouri have been lobbying, and we’re all on the same page,” said DeWitt. “Because this is happening in all of our surrounding states. We know what a good legislative framework looks like to be fair to taxpayers, to make sure that there’s a proper regulatory environment, so no monkey business goes on, and that it raises taxes and all of that for Missouri residents.”

Sports betting has become increasingly popular in recent years. Some form of it is now legal in 35 U.S. states and all but one of Missouri’s neighboring states. Advocates are hopeful that sports wagering would generate tens of millions of dollars, possibly even hundreds of millions, in anual revenue.

Sports betting has made its way into Missouri legislation often in recent years, but some efforts to pass it have stalled in the Senate. Some lawmakers wanted video slot machine expansion as an amendment to SB 30 last year.

“It’s been frustrating because I think we have a winning issue,” said DeWitt.

Mike Whittle, senior vice president and general counsel, told FOX 2 in a phone call that the language of the initiative petition isn’t too different from recent bills. He says some of the most important factors addressed are structure rights and protections for casino owners and teams, mobile licensing, and conversations with a sports betting alliance.

That alliance would consist of BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and Fanatics Sportsbook, four primary mobile operators.

DeWitt says he has met with state senators several times throughout the years and thinks an alternative approach, like the initiative petition, could help sports betting in Missouri become a reality faster.

“Even if [an initiative petition] didn’t work, we would keep pushing in the legislature,” said DeWitt. “Faces change and names change. Honestly, I think the political winds change on this issue as time goes on in our favor. When Missourians see all this tax revenue goes to this surrounding states, I think they’re going to be on board with regulating it, legalizing it and taxing it vs. the alternative [of no legal sports betting] which does not do anyone good in Missouri.”

Under several proposed initiatives, Missouri would impose a 10% tax on adjusted gross sports betting revenue, after the payout of winnings and promotional bets to customers. It would allot $5 million to a compulsive gamblers’ prevention fund, and other revenue would benefit Missouri’s K-12 schools and higher education institutions

The four ballot iniatives consist of the following:

Whittle says the Secretary of State’s Office could review and decide on these petitions within 60 days of their original Sept. 8 filing date.