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Voters in New Jersey and Massachusetts Reject Casino Proposals
- November 9, 2016 By Oliver Young -
American Presidential Election was one of the biggest events this year and its outcome will influence many aspects of our lives. Reports are coming in on the effects of the outcome on the stock market and the value of currencies, primarily the US dollar.
Last week we reported that Paddy Power revisited their decision to pay-out punters who wagered on Hillary Clinton, but it was already too late. Now, when it is already clear that Trump is the next President, Paddy Power have lost about €3 million, and other betting operators have also suffered losses. Many have compared this unexpected victory to the UK Brexit referendum.
But, Americans didn’t vote only on who’s going to be the next President, member of Congress or Senate. They also voted on a number of local issues. The residents of New Jersey and Massachusetts, voted whether to allow additional gambling facilities to be established in their territories. The outcome of both votes was negative.
There Will Be Casinos in North Jersey
New Jersey voters had a chance to vote whether to allow building of land-based casinos in the north of the state, outside Atlantic City. The polls predicted that citizens are most likely to vote against this proposal. And that is exactly how it turned out. Almost 80% of the people who cast their vote were against a casino expansion and only slightly more than 20% were in favour.
The latest poll that was conducted predicted that 70% would vote against, but it turned out that the result was an even more resounding ‘no’. It is interesting to note that earlier polls predicted a tighter gap between the in favour and against vote, but the gap widened later in the campaign.
Proponents of the idea said that they did expect the outcome, but that they are still disappointed by the fact that the citizens didn’t accept the idea of further casino expansion. Casino activists said that the New Jersey missed out an opportunity that would’ve created many jobs and increased taxed revenue. Opponents of the proposal said that the state should instead focus on improving the reputation of Atlantic City.
Almost 60% against a Second Casino Parlour in Massachusetts
A similar thing happened in Massachusetts, where more than 60% voted against opening a slots parlour. Billionaire casino owner Steve Wynn, was strongly opposed to the proposal, as a second parlour would’ve driven down the revenues of his Wynn Boston Harbor, located in Everett. It was reported that he invested almost $40,000 in the last days of the campaign against a second parlour.
According to the current law of Massachusetts the state is limited to only one slots parlour licence. The state can also issue up to three licences to casino resorts. Developer McCain was the main campaigner that supported the initiative. Estimates showed that a new slots parlour would raise up to $88 million in tax revenue for the state.
But, others weren’t convinced and an opposition group that campaigned against the proposal, managed to raise $5,200 independently of Steve Wynn and his company. 1.8 million citizens of Massachusetts voted against, as opposed to 1.2 million who voted in favour of the proposal.