Following an election campaign that lasted almost two years, Americans overwhelmingly elected Democrat candidate Barack Obama as the nation’s 44th President on Tuesday night.
The 47-year-old junior Senator from the Illinois is known to be a fan of poker and an ally of anti-UIGEA campaigner Congressman Barney Frank and trounced Republican opponent John McCain to become the first African-American ever to be elected to the nation’s highest office. In addition, the left-leaning Democrat party also made significant gains in both the House of Representatives and Senate along with the Governorship of the state of Missouri.
In addition to choosing a President, Tuesday’s elections also saw some states place gambling-related ballot initiatives before voters. In Ohio, citizens heavily rejected Issue Six, which would have instituted a constitutional amendment to allow for the construction of a $600 million casino in Clinton County near Dayton. The state does not currently allow casino gaming within its borders and this marks the fourth time that voters have rejected any expansion.
Likewise, voters in the eastern state of Maine defeated Question Two, which would have allowed Las Vegas-based Olympia Gaming to build a $100 million casino and resort in Oxford County. Although proponents of the measure said that it would create more than 800 well-paying jobs while also imposing a ten-year moratorium on building any more venues, over 54 percent of those casting their votes disagreed.
However, 58 percent of voters in Maryland approved the state’s own Question Two to allow for the operation of 15,000 slot machines in five jurisdictions for the primary purpose of providing funds for public education. The referendum imposes a minimum tax rate of 48.5 percent on all operations in order to fund the Education Trust fund; a move proponents stated would generate more than $600 million by 2012.