Three Former Oregon Governors Want To Stop Casinos

Oct 10, 2012

Three of Oregon's former governors announced their opposition Monday to two Oregon casino ballot measures.

Measure 82 amends the constitution to allow non-tribal casinos, and requires those casinos to give a percentage of their revenue to the state lottery. Measure 83 authorizes such a casino in Multnomah County, at Wood Village. 

Governor John Kitzhaber appears in ads against the two measures. Now three of his predecessors -- Republican Vic Atiyeh and Democrats Barbara Roberts and Ted Kulongoski-- are saying jointly that if Measures 82 and 83 pass, casinos could be built anywhere in the state. 

Roberts says more casinos will not improve Oregon's quality of life.

Roberts: "Don't be fooled by the multi-million dollar TV ads. This is not about water features or movie theaters or farmers' markets or fine dining. This is about money. Big money, gambling money and gaming profits and it will bring with it problems that Oregon's communities don't need, don't want and can't afford to deal with." 

Roberts was the first Oregon governor to forge a casino compact with tribes. She says it was drawn up to both enhanced tribal programs and make sure that gambling revenues were shared with surrounding communities.

She says that's not going to happen with large out-of-state gambling businesses. 

Stacey Dycus, the campaign manager for 'Yes on 82 and 83,' says her campaign is giving Oregonians the information they need to decide this issue for themselves.

Dycus: "It's not surprising to us that the existing Oregon casinos and elected officials whom they've supported in the past have come out against it."  

Two years ago, Oregonians turned down another measure, which would have allowed a casino to be built at Wood Village. 

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio