Hamilton County voters go all-in for slots in Tuesday referendum

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Hamilton County residents voted Tuesday to allow slot machines in their county.

A vote for slot machines means a new casino is on the way. Voters marched to the polls and passed the referendum by 61%.

The Hamilton Downs Horse Track is already under construction. Now that the vote has passed, a new casino will get under way immediately on the same grounds in Jennings, just south of the Georgia border.

Together the horse track and casino will offer everything from barrel racing to slots and poker. Of more than 1,911 voters who came out 61.07% voted “Yes” to approve it.

“I think it’ll bring more jobs to people around my age base and it’ll bring more excitement from out of town to come to our area,” Jasper resident Conan Capps said.

But not everyone agrees. 38.93% voted against it.

“I think it’s too much temptation for young folks, because we just don’t have a lot of entertainment for our young folks,” said concerned resident Kathy Smith.

The horse track is set to open this winter and the casino will come some time later.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.