By a 20-percent margin, voters in Utah soundly rejected a pari-mutuel gambling initiative in the Nov. 3 election. A total of 449,052 - 60 percent of those who cast ballots - voted against the initiative, and 296,529 - 40 percent - voted in favor of it.
"I think the voters really sent a clear message that they don't want gambling in Utah," said Hugh Matheson, campaign manager of Utah Citizens Against Pari-mutuel Gambling. "The broader lesson is, no matter how you dress up a gambling proposal, Utahns aren't going for it for a variety of reasons."The day after the election, Bruce L. Olsen, managing director of the Church's Public Affairs Department, released the following statement for the Church:
"We commend Utah Citizens Against Pari-mutuel Gambling and all others who have committed their time, resources, and votes to successfully defeat attempts to legalize gambling in Utah. Their efforts have been aimed at preserving the moral well-being of communities throughout the state.
"We note with concern that elections often emphasize differences between people and issues they support. We hope that all citizens of Utah will join together and seek ways to moderate feelings that may disrupt the spirit of friendship and community."