Cheryle Kennedy, Dan Courtney and Debbie Bossley
Kennedy, Courtney and Bossley are chairs of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians and Confederated Tribes of Coos, Decrease Umpqua & Siuslaw Indians, respectively. They’re scripting this on behalf of their tribes and the Klamath Tribes.
This month, the state noticed Indigenous Individuals’s Day
The phrases ring hole. Oregon officers are contemplating approval of a private gambling project in Grants Pass that might considerably remake state gaming – hurting tribal casinos which have lengthy been financial mainstays for our communities and representing the most important enlargement in many years – all with out public enter. Tribal leaders, with a coalition of involved organizations, have spent months asking the governor and legislative leaders to check the enlargement of playing and the state’s skill to handle playing to no avail.
Now, the Oregon Racing Fee meets on Thursday to think about the Grants Go proposal, and we worry that approval is all however accomplished, leaving us with yet one more damaged promise.
This proposal is for what quantities to a personal on line casino subsequent to a horse monitor in Grants Go. Whereas betting on horses has lengthy been a part of Oregon’s playing panorama, this proposal features a facility with 225 “historic horse race” machines with no restrict on what number of extra might be put in.
Since Oregon has not bothered to look at how expertise has modified playing up to now 25 years, we commissioned two research to start out the dialog. The findings are clear. Historic horse race machines right this moment are nothing greater than slot machines such as you see at different casinos.
Gamblers deposit cash, press a button, and watch the video display screen wheel spin. Outcomes are based mostly on previous horse races, however outcomes are luck, and require no ability or information of horse racing.
Regardless of claims that these slots result in a extra strong horse racing business, the research present the alternative. The place these machines are launched, reside horse race wagering declined or remained flat. The one new income comes from the slots.
The research present that the personal on line casino would lead to $20 million in misplaced income to the state lottery and Oregon tribes within the first 12 months.
This isn’t simply a problem for tribes. Weakening our financial stability hurts the general public at massive too.
Tribal revenues help elder care, well being care, youth providers, housing, training, and regulation enforcement for our members and surrounding communities, which lessens demand on native governments. Lottery revenues help training, financial improvement, and parks.
The general public must also take care of different causes. The five-seat racing fee, with solely 4 sitting members, is poised to decide that may eternally change the footprint of playing with out regard for tribes, habit prevention and remedy, or the general public at massive. Public enter into this determination has been non-existent and requests for tribal session dismissed.
It is a disheartening second in Oregon historical past. We believed that the disregard for our folks was a apply of the previous. We have been optimistic concerning the relationships between our sovereign governments and Oregon state authorities. And we believed the phrases from state leaders that Oregon values fairness and is dedicated to repairing the previous.
However actions communicate louder than phrases. Except the governor directs the Oregon Racing Fee to delay motion on any new licenses pending a complete assessment of playing, then historical past seems to be repeating itself: Guarantees made, solely to be damaged.
Don Gentry, chair of the Klamath Tribes additionally co-authored this op-ed.
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