Voters in Six US States to Consider Gambling Measures This Election

  • Voters will decide if new gambling options should be made available in their state
  • Sports betting is on the table in Maryland, Louisiana, and South Dakota
  • Virginia and Nebraska voters are considering legalizing casino gaming
  • Colorado residents can decide whether or not to lift a $100 betting limit at casinos
Person dropping a ballot into a ballot box with the map of the United States painted on it
Six states are considering casino and sports betting legislative changes in Tuesday’s election. [Image:]

In the hands of the people

While most news revolving around Tuesday’s United States election centers around the Presidential race between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, several states will have gambling measures on the ballot for consideration. States like Maryland and Louisiana are considering sports betting legalization. Nebraska and Virginia are among states seeking to approve casino gambling.

states are trying to find new sources of revenue

Lawmakers are suggesting casino and sports betting expansion as a way to bring in new tax revenue. The economic downturn in the country because of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused financial losses across the board, so states are trying to find new sources of revenue to fill in the gaps.

Sports betting measures

Maryland, Louisiana, and South Dakota voters will be deciding among measures revolving around the sports betting industry. In Maryland, Question 2 from Senate Bill 4 is up for consideration. If the “yes” votes win out, sports betting will be legalized in the state at licensed facilities. Maryland is already facing stiff gambling competition as neighboring states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia have already legalized sports wagering.

In South Dakota, the ballot includes Amendment B. Approval of this amendment would allow sports betting to take place in Deadwood, a former Wild West town turned central gambling hub of the state. Tribal casinos would also be approved for operation.

Louisiana voters also must consider a sports betting gambling measure. In June, Governor John Bel Edwards signed Senate Bill 130 into law to allow for industry legalization. Voters in each parish of the state must now vote on whether or not they want sports betting in their locales.

If approved, lawmakers and the Gaming Control Board will create the industry’s rules, including licensing, taxation, and regulation, starting in 2021.

Casino gambling bills on the ballot

Regarding casino initiatives, Virginia, Nebraska, and Colorado voters will find measures to consider on the ballot. In Nebraska, three initiatives are listed, all connected to casino gambling. The first option, Initiative 429, would allow licensed racetracks to offer casino-style gaming.

Initiative 430 would create the Nebraska Gaming Commission to regulate casino operations. Lastly, Initiative 431 would set a 20% tax on gross gaming revenues of the new industry.

In Virginia, five municipalities will find a referendum on the ballot involving casino gambling. Voters in Portsmouth, Richmond, Norfolk, Bristol, and Danville will decide if they want to see a casino created in their cities.

Caesars Entertainment has already been chosen for the Danville casino if the referendum is approved.

In Colorado, Amendment 77 will only pass with a supermajority – 55% – of yes votes. If approved, casinos in Cripple Creek, Black Hawk, and Central City will remove a $100 per hand betting limit. The bill will also allow pai gow and baccarat games.

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