It is supported by Rhode Island's Twin River Casino. The sanctimonious ads opposing it from "Don't Turn Racetracks Into Casinos" are paid for by a coalition of (at least) five of Colorado's existing casino operators. This measure has almost no financial support or opposition from anyone who isn't in the casino business.
As Ballotpedia, linked above explains:
Voters rejected the legalization of horse and dog racing in 1940, but later approved such gambling in 1948. In 2003, an initiative to allow video lottery at specific horse and greyhound racetracks with some proceeds going towards tourism promotion and open spaces for parks and recreation was defeated with fewer than 20 percent of voters supporting it. . . .The case for saying no to three new casinos at locations where gambling is already conducted would hold much higher moral ground if it weren't for the fact that Colorado already has a state lottery, horse and greyhound gambling, and 41 casinos. The fact that the opposition is funded by existing casinos fighting to reduce competition in locations that are more convenient than their own, while claiming to have other justifications for their position also isn't impressive.
Following the 1990 legalization of casinos in Colorado, the state's first casino was opened in 1991. As of 2013, Colorado had 41 operating casinos employing 9,278 people. Gambling revenues in Colorado are subject to a graduated tax with a maximum assessment of 20 percent. This came to a total of approximately $104.26 million from casinos in 2013. Gambling revenue taxes are not currently allocated specifically to kindergarten through high school education. Instead, they are allocated to local communities, historic preservation, community colleges, tourism promotion and the general fund.
Colorado also has a state lottery, which has been operating since 1983. The lottery was made possible by a 1980 ballot measure, Referendum 2, which also required the net proceeds of the lottery to be put in the state's conservation trust fund. In 2013, the lottery contributed $59.2 million to the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), $54.3 million to the Conservation Trust Fund, $13.6 million to Colorado Parks and Wildlife and $8.6 million to the Public School Construction Assistance (BEST Program).
When it comes to gambling, the people of Colorado aren't virgins; they are whores. Preventing three new casinos from opening in places were two other kinds of gambling are already legal won't make the state any more pure, but may raise a little tax revenue for schools and may help Aurora's struggling economic situation.
From my perspective, as a Denver resident, I'd much rather have Aurora open a new casino that doesn't compete directly Denver venues, than have it pursue Aurora's recent efforts to build a Convention Center to compete with the one in downtown Denver linked into a regional public transit plan, or Aurora's effort to steal the stock show from Denver. An approach to developing the tourism industry in Denver that doesn't undermine huge investments in the same thing that have already been made in the metropolitan area by building a casino is a better choice. Maybe Aurora's next step will be to attempt to legalize and tax the prostitution industry that thrives on its stretch of East Colfax.
The opposition to Ballot Issue 68 (which has outspent the casino's effort to pass it by more than three to one) is pure astroturf with no more concern for actual public opinion than the campaign to prevent a new taxi service and Uber from entering the metropolitan Denver transportation market. Given this reality, allowing three more casinos to enter the gambling marketplace in exchange for more taxes is the right choice.
Vote Yes On Colorado Ballot Issue 68.