Effort To Establish Non-Tribal Casino Begins Again In Oregon

Dec 19, 2011
Originally published on December 16, 2011 3:33 pm

SALEM, Ore. – Two Oregon businessmen are trying once again to get voters to approve the state's first non-tribal casino. It will be the fourth attempt, and once again the casino petition effort is drawing heat from a familiar foe.

The casino would be at a former greyhound racetrack in a suburban area just east of Portland. The two Lake Oswego businessmen behind the effort, Matt Rossman and Bruce Studer, did not return several phone calls asking for comment.

During earlier attempts to open the casino, the two said their plan would create thousands of jobs and bring in millions of dollars in state revenue.

But the effort has run afoul of the state's nine federally recognized American Indian tribes. Each of them operates its own casino.

Justin Martin is a spokesman for the Grand Ronde tribe, which has a gaming center about 70 miles southwest of Portland.

"Do we want to become Las Vegas? Do we to be glitz and glamour? Do we want to have casinos in all the major metropolitan areas? Or do we want to keep the system the way it is now?" Martin asks.

A measure to authorize a casino did make the Oregon ballot last year, but received just 32 percent of the vote. A companion measure that would have removed a ban on casinos in the Oregon Constitution failed to make the ballot.

On the Web:

Casino group's website: http://www.goodfororegon.org/new/home.php

Initiative petition 36: http://egov.sos.state.or.us/elec/web_irr_search.record_detail?p_reference=20120036..LSCYYY.

Initiative petition 37: http://egov.sos.state.or.us/elec/web_irr_search.record_detail?p_reference=20120037..LSCYYY.

Initiative petition 38: http://egov.sos.state.or.us/elec/web_irr_search.record_detail?p_reference=20120038..LSCYYY.

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