Statement by Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr.
While I’m tempted to call the 1998 Election Day results a national referendum on gaming—since 99 percent of the issues or candidates who supported gaming-related initiatives won at the polls yesterday—that would be hypocritical. The American Gaming Association has always believed that gaming is a states’ rights issue, and that local citizens have a right to make independent decisions about the type and level of gaming that they want in their communities or states. In this election, the people of Missouri, Arizona and California - directly in initiative votes - and Alabama, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and South Carolina - indirectly in governors’ races - indicated their will regarding gaming.
Moral opponents trumpeted, prior to Tuesday’s election, that 1998 would be the year they would “win” their battle against gaming across the country. It will be interesting to listen to their “sermons” today attempting to explain away the nearly unanimous expression of support for gaming in these states. If there is any national message in yesterday’s Election Day results, it is that the overwhelming majority of Americans resent those who would impose their own view of morality on others.