Voters in eight states went to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to expand casino gambling. In several cases, established gaming interests poured millions into state ballot referendum fights. The industry won big in Massachusetts, but not in Rhode Island or Colorado. In California, tribes with casinos blocked a tribe that wanted to join them.
Voters rejected Proposition 48, which would have allowed the impoverished North Folk Rancheria of Mono Indians to build a new casino on land the tribe has bought near Madera, just north of Fresno, the Los Angeles Times reported. Other Native American tribes that already operate casinos in California and oppose the measure vastly outspent their rivals. They argued that passing Prop 48 would set a bad precedent by letting tribes build casinos off reservations.
Well, they may be okay with letting more people buy pot brownies, but not with more people gambling. Voters in Colorado roundly rejected a state ballot measure to add casinos to racetracks in three counties. The state already has three casinos. Opponents of the ballot measure had argued that new racinos would just take money away from the existing gambling halls. The measure failed by a 3-to-1 margin, the Denver Business Journal reported.
Voters in Kansas voted to let allow non-profit charitable raffles.
Voters in Massachusetts chose to keep legalized casino gambling and the three casinos that are already on the drawing board. One of them, in Everett just outside Boston, is being developed by casino mogul Steve Wynn. The measure failed despite vigorous efforts to support it by groups such as the state’s Roman Catholic bishops. If they had prevailed, according to the Associated Press, it would have marked “the first time — at least since the modern era of U.S. gambling began in 1931 — that a state reversed a major legislative decision to expand gambling.”
Voters in Rhode Island failed to approve table games at the Newport Grand casino.
According to the Providence Journal, statewide, voters agreed to allow it to become a full-fledged casino, but local voters blocked the measure. Rhode Islanders also approved a measure that would “give local voters the final say over a casino’s location” 67 percent to 33 percent, the Journal reported.
“Proponents needed to secure a majority of votes in Newport and statewide on the table games question, as well as a majority statewide vote on the location question. Without majorities in each category … a planned $40-million face lift for Newport Grand will not happen.”
South Carolina voters gave a thumbs up to non-profit charitable raffles.
Voters backed amendment Q, which would authorize the legislature to allow roulette, keno and craps at gambling houses in Deadwood, the Argus Leader reported.
Voters agreed charities to hold annual lotteries. The charities in question are namely veterans groups that wanted to hold gaming fundraisers, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.
The measure still requires a two-thirds vote by the legislature, according to U.S. Poker.com.