Dylan Scott is a GOVERNING staff writer.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Two states sought to expand their gambling enterprises in ballot initiatives Tuesday: voters in Maine rejected their state's proposal while New Jersey approved a measure to allow sports betting.
New Jersey voters passed a measure that would change the state's constitution to allow sports betting at Atlantic City casinos and at racetracks by a 65-35 vote, according to the Associated Press. The initiative had received widespread support from groups such as Casino Association as well as state lawmakers and Gov. Chris Christie, according to Ballotpedia.
However, a federal law limiting sports betting in New Jersey and three other states must be reversed before the amendment could be implemented. The amendment also places restrictions on wagering on college sports game played in New Jersey or by schools from New Jersey.
Maine rejected its ballot question, 55-45, which would have approved the installation of slot machine facilities at harness racing tracks in Biddeford and Washington County. The measure was opposed by a coalition of groups that claimed the initiative would not have the intended effect of reviving the horse racing industry in the state, according to Ballotpedia.
According to a preliminary fiscal analysis, those slot machines were expected to bring in more than $50 million in annual revenue for the state. The state would have collected 1 percent of gross income and 39 percent on net income. Maine would have also received a $564,500 license fee in the first year and $213,250 in each following year.