Elections Bring Mixed Bag for Expanded Gambling

An effort to win approval for racetrack video lottery terminals failed Nov. 4 in Colorado, but in Maine, voters gave their approval for racetrack VLTs.

In Colorado, voters rejected expansion of gambling for the seventh time in 11 years. The proposal called for 500 VLTs at five tracks--Arapahoe Park, a Thoroughbred facility, and four Greyhound facilities. Owners of casinos in three historic towns fought back an effort by Wembley USA, which owns four of the five tracks in the state.

In Maine, a statewide referendum on racetrack gaming passed, but whether the machines are installed depends on the vote of local residents. In Bangor, residents approved the plan in June, so Bangor Raceway, a Standardbred track, can move ahead with plans for a racino with hotel and conference facilities.

In Scarborough, home of Scarborough Downs, another harness track, ballots were being counted early the morning of Nov. 5 given the closeness of the vote.

Meanwhile, Maine voters rejected plans for a resort casino. In Indiana, the resort town of French Lick was approved for a riverboat casino license.