A number of efforts to expand gaming in the U.S. were thwarted yesterday. Voters in Maine rejected a proposal to build a $180 million casino resort, which would have included 300 hotel rooms and 30,000 square feet of meeting space. Ohioans voted down a petition to construct a 1,500-room casino resort near Wilmington. Voters in the U.S. territory of Guam also rejected a proposal to build a new casino as well as a $30 million convention center. In Missouri, citizens voted to cap the number of casinos in the state at 13, although the measure also abolished a loss limit for gamblers. However, in Colorado, Amendment 50 passed, raising the betting limit at the state's casinos from $5 to $100. While this will not have any immediate effect, cities such as Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek might ask residents to approve 24-hour gambling and the addition of games such as craps and roulette.
In Del Mar, Calif., 30 minutes north of San Diego, voters passed Proposition H, which allows the Del Mar City Council to raise the transit occupancy tax from 12.5 percent to 13 percent.
Sixty-seven percent of voters in Paradise Valley, Ariz., backed Proposition 411, approving the development of the 225-room Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley Resort, which also will have 161 private residences. The development, on the site of the former Mountain Shadows Resort, was opposed by a group of citizens known as Preserve Our Paradise; they collected enough referendum signatures to force a public vote on the project, which already had been approved by both the Planning Commission and the Town Council. The group supported a Ritz-Carlton resort but opposed the residential units.
In Beverly Hills, Calif., voters seem to have narrowly defeated a proposal to build a 12-story, 170-room Waldorf=Astoria condo-hotel on the site of the existing Beverly Hilton property, according to preliminary results reported by MSNBC.com. Thousands of absentee and provisional ballots remain uncounted, however, and may take up to two weeks to factor in. Updated figures will be announced Friday afternoon.
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