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Oregon Casino Measures Opposed By Three Former Governors

November Ballot Will Determine The Fate Of Each Measure

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Two measures on Oregon’s ballot would authorize a non-tribal, privately owned casino near Portland, but the legislation isn’t getting any support from Gov. John Kitzhaber, who has appeared in various ads urging voters to say no this November.

Now, measure no. 82 and no. 83 have drawn even more criticism from three former Oregon governors, who believe that adding to the state’s nine already existing Native American casinos will only bring unwanted problems to the area.

Former governors Vic Atiyeh, Barbara Roberts and Ted Kulongoski have joined efforts to speak out against the measures, which will amend the constitution to establish privatized casinos. If both measures are approved, then the owner of the Multnomah Kennel Club in Wood Village near Portland will be issued a 15-year renewable gaming license to operate a new casino, prematurely named The Grange.

Any new private casinos would instead be required to pay 25 percent of their gross revenue each month to the state to aid with the growth of jobs, education and communities.

Other groups who oppose the measures have strong ties to the state’s Indian tribes and do not want to see their businesses suffer due to an increase in competition. Furthermore, these groups argue that Oregon receives more than enough funding for various programs from the state’s lottery system. However, those in support of the measures point to the increase in state tax revenue, as well as the 2,000 permanent and 1,000 temporary jobs that would be created.

Oregon residents have voted against private casinos in the past, as recently as two years ago. Supporters are hoping that this time, by playing up the proposed property as an entertainment facility rather than a gambling complex, voters will say yes.

Other states with casino-related measures on their November ballots include Maryland, Ohio and Rhode Island.