Voters are considering a number of state and local ballot questions this fall related to the meetings and conventions industry, from hotel or visitor tax issues to casino questions. Here are three of the most significant:
Ohio voters are being asked to approve casino gambling in the state. If passed, Issue 6 would allow a group of investors to build a $600 million casino in Clinton County in southwest Ohio. Plans include a 1,500-room hotel with a spa, conference center, upscale restaurants, retail shops, and a theater complex. While voters have turned down efforts to build a casino in Ohio three times — in 1990, 1996, and 2006 — some polls conducted over the summer indicated a majority of Ohio citizens now favor casino gambling.
A controversial proposal to build a deck over a marine cargo terminal in San Diego Harbor will go before voters in January. Developers want to use the deck, which would sit over the 96-acre 10th Avenue Marine Terminal, for a hotel, stadium, or expansion of the nearby San Diego Convention Center. Opponents are afraid the proposed deck could jeopardize the port and the tens of thousands of jobs associated with it, while proponents believe the measure could result in thousands of new jobs in the hospitality and tourism industries.
If approved in November, Missouri's “Proposition A” would limit the number of casinos in the state to 13 — the number already in existence or being built. It would also repeal the “loss limit” of $500 in the state's casinos. Proponents worry the state is losing business to casinos in Illinois and Kansas, which have no loss limits.