The WAGER, Vol. 1(46) – Election 1996: America votes on gambling measures


The expansion or limitation of gambling opportunities was an issue of great importance for Ameri­cans on November 5 as several states included a gambling measure on their ballots. The following table provides a state-by-state rundown of gambling-related measures; of the twelve states, 7 rejected expand­ing gambling opportunities, 3 approved the respective gambling expansion measure, and 2 states, Louisi­ana and Michigan, had mixed results.

Anti-Gambling Expansion
Arkansas:  Rejected an amendment (Amendment 4) establishing a state lottery, permitting bingo games operated by nonprofit organizations, and allowing voters in Hot Springs, Arkansas, to make decisions about three potential casinos in the locality.
Colorado:  Rejected an amendment (Amendment 18) seeking the development of limited-stakes casino gambling in Trinidad, only after approval by a future local vote.
Iowa:  Rejected two measures allowing riverboat casinos within Muscatine and Dallas County.
Mississippi :  Rejected a measure legalizing riverboat gambling in DeSoto County.
Nebraska:  Rejected an amendment (Amendment 1) removing restrictions on the location of off-track betting.
Ohio:  Rejected an initiative (Ballot Issue 1) to amend the state constitution to allow river boat casino gambling.
Washington:  Rejected an initiative (Initiative 671) amending existing tribal/state agreements to allow limited electronic gaming, with profits split between the tribes and state government.
Pro-Gambling Expansion
Arizona:  Approved a measure (Proposition 201) providing that Arizona enter into the state’s approved standard gaming compacts with any Indian tribes, at their request, that have not already entered into such compacts. Although Arizona has already entered into compacts with 16 of the 21 tribes in the state, this proposition has the potential to expand tribal gaming in the state of Arizona.
Indiana:  Approved a referendum permitting the development of two horse tracks with pari-mutuel wager­ing in Marion County.
West Virginia:  Approved a measure legalizing up to 1000 video lottery terminals at the Charles Town Races.

Mixed Results
Louisiana:  Orleans Parish approved a measure allowing a land-based casino. Six parishes which currently have riverboats voted to maintain their legality, while 23 parishes approved the option of establishing riverboats. The final statewide parish-by-parish vote on video poker was 35 reject, 29 keep. Parishes rejecting video poker machines must phase them out by July 1999.
Michigan:  Rejected proposal A, which limited potential sponsors of gaming activities, and approved proposal E, which allowed as many as three new casinos in Detroit. The casino profits will be split between crime prevention, economic development, and public education.

Sources adapted from:

Internet web sites;;

Ader, J., & Lumpkins, C. (1996). Gaming industry 1996 election day results. New York: Bear, Stears & Co., Inc.

This public education project is funded, in part, by The Andrews Foundation.
This fax may be copied without permission. Please cite The WAGER as the source.
For more information contact the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling,
190 High Street, Suite 6, Boston, MA 02110.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *