JEFFERSON CITY — Voters in Jefferson City voted down a pair of attempts to open Missouri’s capital city to riverboat or casino gambling, defeating a pair of charter amendments on April 8.
A ballot measure calling for voters to repeal a city charter ban on riverboat gambling and casinos failed with 5,595 (62 percent) against the measure compared to 3,435 (38 percent) in favor.
By a similar margin, voters rejected a proposal that called for the licensing of “excursion gaming boats or floating facilities” in the city with 5,637 (62.3 percent) against and 3,416 (37.7 percent) in favor.
The city council months ago voted 6-4 to place the measures — Propositions B and C — on the ballot. Both opponents and proponents of casino gambling for Jefferson City organized to rally citizens and take their respective messages to the community via radio, television and newspaper advertising.
The Jefferson City News-Tribune effectively editorialized against riverboat gambling in the city.
Residents against casino gambling organized Citizens Supporting Integrity shortly after the decision was made to add the gaming measures to the April ballot. Headed by Clyde Lear, chairman and chief executive of Learfield Communications, CSI drew participants from a broad segment of the community, including churches.
The citizen’s organization established a Web site — http://www.csijeffcity.com/ — to focus on the ballot measures and to underscore concerns about gambling.
“I’m ecstatic,” Lear told the News-Tribune, “The voters of Jefferson City just don’t want to have casinos in our town.