Here Is How 6 Gambling Ballot Measures Fared During The 2020 Election

While the US presidential race received the overwhelming majority of the coverage on the election night, there were also some important state ballot measures affecting gambling across the country.

From sports betting amendments to casino expansion, there were at least six measures that the gambling world was keeping an eye on Tuesday. How did those fair at the polls last night?

Sports betting

There were three states that had ballot initiatives up for a vote on Tuesday: Lousiana, South Dakota and Maryland.

Lousiana – Local sports betting

Voters in 64 Lousiana parishes voted on whether to legalize sports betting within their parish. If passed in a voter’s specific parish, sports betting would come to the area where approved, subject to legislative regulation and taxation. The measure was similar to one in 2018 that authorized daily fantasy sports, which passed in 47 out of 64 parishes.

South Dakota – Local sports betting

Amendment B, was on the statewide ballot for South Dakota voters on Friday and easily by an approximate vote of 58% to 42% with 90% reporting. The amendment authorizes the South Dakota State Legislature to legalized sports betting within the city limits of Deadwood, the hub of land-based casinos in the state. The state’s tribal casinos will also be allowed to offer sports betting.

South Dakota is quickly reacting to the results and is in consultation with the Gaming Commission to “create a framework” of the new market.

Maryland – Sports and events wagering

Voters in Maryland voted on Question 2, which authorizes the wagering on sports and events in the state. The measure completed the sports betting trifecta of the night, passing in another landslide – 66.25% to 33.75%.

Revenue from sports betting will be used to fund public education. Sports wagering will need to take place at “certain licensed facilities” including casinos.

Colorado – bet limit increase

Colorado Amendment 77 was up for a vote to the state’s residents, ultimately passing easily by a vote of around 60% to 40%. The measure will allow voters in Central, Black Hawk and Cripple Creek — towns where casino gambling is legal — to decide whether to increase the maximum bet limit from $100 for games such as slot machines, blackjack, poker, roulette and craps.

Voters in Central, Black Hawk and Cripple Creek could be voting for increased bet limits as soon as May 1st, 2021. State revenue from the bet increases will go towards community colleges, student retention and increase credential completion.

Nebraska – gaming at racetracks

Nebraska Initiative 430 was approved by voters in a landslide on Tuesday, winning by a vote of 65% to 35%. The measure will allow the state’s racetracks to offer casino gambling, regulated by the Nebraska Gaming Commission. Other similar initiatives allow the state to authorize, regulate and tax gambling at licensed racetracks.

Prior to the legalization of casinos, Nebraska only allowed wagering through the state lottery, licensed raffles and bingo. Initiative 431 imposes an annual tax of 20% on gross gaming revenues of licensed gaming operators.

Virginia – new casinos

In four Virginia cities, Bristol, Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth were given the choice to decide whether casino gambling should come to their towns. Each of the towns passed the measure resoundingly. Despite the victory, casinos are not expected to start building their newly authorized casinos right away.

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