Maine Video Lottery at Horse Tracks, Question 3 (2000)

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The Maine Video Lottery at Horse Tracks Initiative, also known as Question 3, was on the November 7, 2000 ballot in Maine as an indirect initiated state statute, where it was defeated.[1] The measure would have allowed video lottery machines at certain horse racing tracks if 40 percent of the profits were used for property tax relief.[2]

Election results

Maine Question 3 (2000)
Defeatedd No387,87260.44%
Yes 253,920 39.56%

Election results via: Maine Secretary of State, Elections Division: Referendum Election Tabulations, November 7, 2000

Text of measure

The language appeared on the ballot as:[2]

Question 3: Citizen Initiative

Do you want to allow video lottery machines at certain horse racing tracks if 40% of the profits are used for property tax relief? [3]


The following description of the intent and content of this measure was provided in the Maine Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election:

This Act establishes a regulatory program to be administered by the State Police for the use of video lottery terminals at any commercial harness horse racing track that has operated live racing on more than 100 days in each of the previous two calendar years. It directs the Chief of the State Police to issue a license for the operation of video lottery terminals to the owner or operator of any commercial track meeting these requirements. At present, there is only one such facility in the state. Once an operating license is issued to such a facility, no other commercial track within 150 miles of that facility may be licensed. The Act also authorizes the Chief of the State Police to license manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers of video lottery terminals, and the Chief is directed to approve an application for a distributor license submitted by any commercial harness horse racing track that is licensed to operate a pari-mutuel facility and was awarded at least 100 race dates to conduct harness racing by the Maine Harness Racing Commission in 1998. There is only one facility in the state that meets this description.

The Act grants authority to the Chief of the State Police to adopt rules to prevent undesirable conduct relating to the operation of video lottery terminals and to disable terminals under certain circumstances. The Act makes it a class D crime for a licensee to knowingly permit use of video lottery terminals by anyone who is under age 21 or visibly intoxicated, or to extend credit to a person in order to permit them to play. Tampering with a terminal with intent to interfere with its operation or to manipulate the outcome is a class C crime.

On an annual basis, the net proceeds from the operation of video lottery terminals would be allocated as follows: 40% to the State Treasurer for distribution through municipal revenue sharing; 26% to the licensed distributor of the terminals; 5% to the licensee to supplement harness racing purses; 3% to the State Police to cover administrative costs; 2% to agricultural fairs authorized to accept wagers on harness racing; and 1% to supplement the purses in sire stakes races. The balance of 23% of the net revenues would be retained by the licensed operator.

If approved, this Act would take effect 30 days after the proclamation of the vote.

A "YES" vote is in favor of the initiative and approves the legislation.

A "NO" vote is in opposition to the initiative and disapproves the legislation. [3]

Maine Secretary of State [2]

Path to the ballot

See also: Signature requirements for ballot measures in Maine

A total of 44,157 petition signatures were submitted to place this measure before the state legislature. The legislature failed to enact the measure on February 18, 2000, when both chambers accepted the "Unanimous Ought Not to Pass Report." Because Maine has a system of indirect initiatives, the measure was referred to a popular vote of the electors.[4]

See also

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