Colorado Video Lottery and Tourism Promotion, Initiative 33 (2003)

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The Colorado Video Lottery Act, Amendment 33 was on the November 4, 2003 ballot in Colorado as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was defeated.

Amendment 33 would have required the Colorado Lottery Commission to:

  • Implement a state-supervised video lottery program at specific horse and greyhound racetracks and at licensed casinos by November 1, 2004.
  • Create a distribution formula for video lottery proceeds to allocate up to $25 million annually for tourism promotion.
  • Provide additional revenue for open space and parks and recreation, potentially provide additional revenue for Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO).
  • Designate any remaining revenue for purposes specified in state law.
  • Exempt revenue from the video lottery program from state and local spending and revenue limits.

Election results

Colorado Amendment 33 (2003)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No766,89380.9%
Yes 180,959 19.1%

Election Results via: Colorado Secretary of State

Ballot title

The official ballot title for Amendment 33 was:

An amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning the generation of additional state revenues through the authorization of video lottery terminals, and, in connection therewith, directing the lottery commission to allow video lottery terminals at designated racetrack locations and limited gaming establishments; after the allocation of net proceeds from video lottery terminals to the great outdoors Colorado program, allocating up to $25 million of such net proceeds in a fiscal year to an existing fund to promote tourism in Colorado; imposing a one-time $500 license fee on each video lottery terminal and allocating such license fees to the tourism promotion fund; exempting net proceeds and license fees from video lottery terminals from all restrictions on spending, revenues, and appropriations; and repealing this measure on July 1, 2019.

History behind Amendment 33

Several years prior to 2003, Wembley sold its racetrack in England and invested $70 million in Colorado racetracks in Commerce City, Aurora, Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

In trouble already?

The British company that wants to put thousands of slot machines in Colorado dog racing tracks is in trouble over an alleged slot machine scheme at a dog track it owns in Rhode Island.

The parent company of Wembley USA was indicted Tuesday for allegedly scheming to make illegal payments in exchange for approval of additional slot machines at a dog track it owns in Rhode Island called Lincoln Park.

Daniel Bucci, Lincoln Park's chief executive officer, is among those named in the 22-count indictment.

Prosecutors say the scheme involved a proposed $4.5 million payment over six years to a Pawtucket, R.I., law firm in which Rep. John Harwood, a former House speaker, is a partner. The scheme was allegedly concocted in 2000 and 2001, when Harwood was speaker.

Neither the law firm nor Harwood have been charged.[1]

Indictment details

According to the 22-count indictment, the defendants wanted Harwood and other public officials to use their influence to obtain approval from the state Lottery Commission for additional video slot machines at Lincoln Park. The Lottery Commission has nine members, six of whom are appointed by legislative leaders.

Also charged in the indictment are Nigel Potter, chief executive officer of Wembley, PLC, the parent corporation of Lincoln Park, and the Burrillville Racing Association, the former name of the entity that owns the park.

The indictment alleges that, between August 2000 and September 2001, Bucci and Potter sent facsimiles to each other discussing specifics of the proposed illegal payments. Bucci also allegedly sent facsimiles to Wembley, USA, headquartered in Colorado, and to unidentified coconspirators in the United Kingdom. [1]

Supporters

Wembley USA owns four of Colorado's five Front Range dog racing tracks. The company is behind Colorado Amendment 33, which wants to place 2,500 gaming terminals in its dog racing tracks here in a move similar to what happened at its Rhode Island track. At that track, Wembley started with 400 video lottery terminals, increased it to 2,200, and next year will reportedly have 3,200 VLTs, according to published reports. [1]

Opponents

"We have called this campaign one big lie," said John Dill, chairman of the group opposing the measure. "Now it appears that the company not only has been lying but may be engaged in illegal activity.

"The sponsors of this issue here in Colorado need to re-evaluate whether they should be asking Colorado to alter the state constitution on behalf of the company facing such enormous business and legal turmoil," Dill added. [1]

External links

See also

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