Going Down the Ballot: Your Right to Gamble

This is part two of the three-part series about vices you can vote on this election. Go down your ballot so you don’t miss a chance to vote on these important measures!

Part 1: Going Down on the Ballot – Sex Referendums

Gambling + Politics

Gambling has come a long way since the days of moral crusaders banning it all left and right. The success of Las Vegas and Atlantic City has driven states to use casinos as both a revenue source and a tourist attraction.

Bugsy trailer

Boardwalk Empire trailer

This year you’re going to be voting about your state’s gambling habits. For real. So check out your 2012 gambling rights, below.

1. New Gaming

Oregon’s Constitution currently bans casinos in the state, but the City of Woodland Village is tripling down on their desire to host the casino and have run three separate initiatives to get the casino passed.

  • Measure 82 is a state constitutional amendment allowing casinos to operate in the state, and requiring 25 percent of gross adjusted revenues to go to support local economic development. It requires all casinos get state initiative approval and local approval.
  • Measure 83 is a state initiative to allow a casino in Multnomah County at the former kennel club. It will pass only if Measure 82 passes
  • The Wood Village City Casino Measure is the local measure allowing the casino in Multnomah County.

The casino supporters must hope to land majorities on all three if they want to win the $250 million jackpot investment.

2. Expansion

Four counties in Florida (Brevard, Lee, Palm Beach and Volusia) have referendums to allow slot machines. The votes will not guarantee the placement, as the Florida legislature still would need to approve the machines. But if enough voters pull the lever for the iniative, soon they can expect to be pulling the lever for real money

Come on, supermajority approval! No whammy, no whammy!

Palm Beach County’s only business eligible for the machines would be the kennel club, which along with Oregon’s kennel club casino clearly show dogs have tired of poker.

Maryland has a state ballot that would allow an additional casino in Prince George’s County and expand the types of games allowed in the state casinos (unfortunately strip poker is not listed. Maybe next election season).

In Rhode Island there are two initiatives to expand gambling to include table games in current slot gambling locations at Twin River in Lincoln and Newport Grand in Newport.

3. Prohibition

In Geneseo, Illinois there is a move to ban video gambling. This measure would prevent any entity from providing video-based gambling services in the county, meaning citizens of this small city will have nothing to do but play Farmville.

4. Invalid

Arkansas has two competing, but ultimately null and void, measures to allow casinos in the state. While appearing on the ballot, a yes or no vote won’t be counted.

Issue 3 sought to allow 24 hour casinos in seven counties, supported by businessman Michael Wasserman, who owns a hospitality business. While appearing on the ballot, it was disqualified later after it was ruled to lack enough valid signatures.

Issue 4 would allow casinos in the state generally, supported by Las Vegas based Poker Palace LLC, and spearheaded by Nancy Todd. It was initially rejected due to insufficient signatures. A change in language during the second signature drive disqualified it from the ballot.

Are there any gambling initiatives we missed? Post them in the comments. And don’t forget to check out the first article in the series about sex initiatives. Come back later for the final article in the series about alcohol, tobacco and marijuana initiatives. 

Related on The Smoking Jacket:
Going Down on the Ballot – Sex Referendums
Video Dump: The 5 Sexiest Political Ads
Marvin Gaye: The World’s Sexiest Politician
Missionary Mitt is All About the Ladies!