While the 2012 election headline was the race for the presidency, voters in four states voted on a total of seven gambling-related ballot measures. How did the gambling initiatives fair? 3 - 4* (* - of the four measures that failed, two were defeated prior to the November Election).
The ballot measure that received the most attention (and money) took place in Maryland, where voters approved the expansion of gaming to allow table games at Maryland's existing casinos. The measure also approved an additional casino at the National Harbor in Prince George's County. The measure was approved 52-48. The Daily Record estimated that a combined $85 million was spent on this measure by both sides.
Rhode Island voters approved two ballot measures supporting the expansion of gaming. Question 1 to authorize table games at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, RI passed 71-29 and Question 2 to authorize table games at Newport Grand Casino in Newport, RI was approved 66.5-33.5.
Measure 82 in Oregon asked voters whether they wanted a constitutional amendment to authorize the establishment of privately-owned casinos in Oregon with 25% of adjusted gross revenues to be paid to a state fund for "fostering job growth, educational achievement, vibrant local communities, protecting and improving natural environment, and supporting all federally recognized Indian tribes in Oregon." Measure 82 failed 72 to 28.
Oregon voters also rejected Measure 83 to authorize the issuance of a renewable 15-year lease permitting the owner of the former Multnomah Kennel Club to operate a casino at the location - Multnomah County is home to Portland and is Oregon's most populous county. This measure was similarly rejected by a margin of 71 to 29.
In Arkansas, results for the state's two ballot measures were never tabulated due to separate pending litigation involving each ballot measure. Issue No. 3 on the Arkansas Ballot was a measure to amend the Arkansas constitution to give Nancy Todd's Poker Palace the exclusive right to operate casinos in the state. In early October, the Arkansas State Supreme Court denied the measure because it was revised after signatures had been gathered.
Similarly, Issue No. 4 on the Arkansas Ballot was not tabulated. Issue No. 4 would have allowed 24-hour casinos in seven Arkansas counties. Proponents of issue 4 did not collect enough valid signatures by the state's deadline to place the measure on the ballot. The Arkansas Supreme Court struck down a bid requesting an additional 30 days to collect the requisite number of valid signatures.