Northeast voters oppose gambling’s expansion

Northeast voters oppose gambling’s expansion

By Neisha Roberts
The Alabama Baptist

Four states were recently faced with guiding the direction of the gambling industry within their state lines when they voted on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Massachusetts and New Jersey residents voted a resounding “no” on their individual ballot measures, equating to both states limiting further gambling and casinos within their borders.

Massachusetts voters opposed bringing a slot machine parlor into Greater Boston.

New Jersey voters crushed the ballot question to expand casinos into northern counties, which would have ended a four-decade ban on casinos outside of Atlantic City.

Statewide voters in Rhode Island said “yes” to Question 1 on their ballot, which would allow the Twin River Management Group to build a new casino in Tiverton. However, before the measure can move forward it also must earn the approval of Tiverton residents. On Nov. 10 mail and emergency ballots were counted and confirmed the measure’s passage; however, provisional ballots were not yet included and recount requests were entertained until Nov. 16, so official results were not available at press time.

‘Squashed’ measures

Arkansas residents “squashed a proposed ballot question to push casinos into the state,” according to an email from Stop Predatory Gambling’s national director, Les Bernal.

“The Arkansas Supreme Court, in language that rings true in every state where predatory gambling has been thrust into the lives of everyday people, ruled that the ballot question title ‘does not honestly and accurately reflect what is contained in the proposed amendment. The voters are entitled to a ballot title that is honest, impartial and intelligible and will give them a fair understanding of the issues presented,’” according to the email.