The battle over Measures 82 and 83
, which would have ended Oregon's constitutional ban on private casinos and sited the first such non-tribal gambling facility in Wood Village resulted in the expenditure of nearly $10 million—$6.85 by Canadian investors to qualify for the ballot and promote their measures and $2.8 from Oregon tribes protecting their monopoly.
By Oregon standards, the $9.65 million spent
is a lot of money—only a 2007 cigarette tax increase, which saw total spending of more than $15 million was bigger.
In Oregon, voters soundly rejected the private casino idea by an average of 71 percent to 29 percent last week. But results in Maryland, which also had a private casino measure on the Nov. 6 ballot could provide a taste of what's in store in coming election cycles.
There, the two sides will end up spending nearly $90 million
on a measure that voters approved last Tuesday night. Maryland's a little bigger than Oregon—5.8 million people to our 3.9 million—but the more important difference location there is the proposed MGM Grand casino's proximity to Washington D.C.
In the Baltimore and Washington D.C. metro areas there are more than eight million people, nearly four times the population of Portland/Vancouver metro area.
Based on the willingness of casino investors to plow money into Maryland, however, it seems a safe bet that we'll see more casino initiatives in Oregon and that they'll spend much more in the future.