An amendment to the State Constitution has been proposed to allow gambling in communities bordered by Nevada in an attempt to boost the economy on the Utah side of Wendover.
SJR1 has been prefiled by Sen. Bill Barton, R-West Valley City, to allow games of chance or a lottery in cities or towns that share a common boundary with a city in a state that allows such activities."The part of Wendover that is in Utah has become quite depressed in the last few years. All of the building that is going on is on the Nevada side," Barton said. "This will help rejuvenate the Utah side."
Although Utahns have traditionally opposed permitting any form of gambling in the state, Barton said he hopes that the issue will be considered on economic rather than moral terms.
"A lot of people from the Wasatch Front are keeping Wendover alive," he said. "If they are going to go there anyway, we might as well keep some of their money in Utah."
Barton said that the way the amendment is written, gambling would be confined only to communities that already have access to casino games and lotteries located across the state line.
It would also require the approval of both the Utah community and the county in which it is located before gambling would be permitted. In order to amend the constitution, two-thirds of the Legislature must approve the resolution.
Then voters would be asked to approve the amendment in the next general election