While America was electing its first African-American president, voters in several states were making decisions on issues impacting the meetings and travel industries.
In Ohio, State Issue 6, which, if passed, would have permitted the construction of a proposed $600 million casino resort in southwest Ohio, failed by nearly a two-to-one margin. Casino proponents say they are planning to put another casino proposal on the ballot next year.
In neighboring West Virginia, voters in Greenbrier County narrowly passed a referendum question that allows The Greenbrier to operate a guest-only casino at the world-famous resort. The referendum was backed by a number of area labor unions in the hope that the addition of casino gambling revenue could help in the resolution ofdisputes with the resort. The Greenbrier took no position on the referendum but, in the aftermath of its passage, announced it would hire a consultant to evaluate the impact of casino gambling at the resort.
In Maryland, voters overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment allowing the introduction of slot-machine gambling in five locations throughout the state, while in Maine, voters rejected a ballot measure that would have allowed the construction of a $184 million resort casino in Oxford Country. Fifty-five percent of voters opposed the question, making it the third time since 2003 that Maine rejected casino gambling.
Missouri voters passed Proposition A, which repeals the loss limit which prohibited casino guests from losing more than $500 in any two-hour period. This is expected to entice more tourists to casinos in St. Louis and Missouri.
And San Diego voters rejected a proposal that would have allowed construction of a deck for development over a marine cargo terminal in San Diego Harbor. Developers wanted to use the proposed 40-foot-tall deck, which would sit over the 96-acre 10th Avenue Marine Terminal, for a hotel, stadium, or the possible expansion of the nearby San Diego Convention Center.