A newly certified initiative to allow non-tribal casinos in Oregon sets the stage for a possible showdown over gambling centers in the state. The Oregon Secretary of State's office announced Monday that it has certified an initiative for the ballot that could eventually lead to the region’s first full-service casino not operated by a tribe.
The initiative would remove a ban in the Oregon constitution on non-tribal casinos. The new gaming facilities would have to be at least 60 miles away from the nearest tribal casino. And, each one would have to be authorized both by voters statewide and by voters in the city where the casino would be located. The initiative barely had enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. It's not clear yet whether a companion measure that would specifically authorize a casino in suburban Wood Village will also qualify.
The businessmen behind the effort declined to comment. A similar constitutional amendment two years ago failed to make the ballot. Oregon tribes operate nine casinos and have vowed to fight attempts to repeal the state's ban on non-tribal gambling facilities.
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network
On the Web:
Initiative Petition 36: http://oregonvotes.org/irr/2012/036text.pdf