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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / US Betting News / Oregon Governor Tina Kotek takes stance against gambling expansion

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek takes stance against gambling expansion

Publish Date:04/16/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek announced that her office would not endorse any gambling expansion within the state.

Kotek wrote a letter to the Oregon Lottery and the nine recognized Indigenous tribes, expressing her concerns about the Coquille Tribe’s proposal to construct a second casino in Medford. The letter focused on the deviation from past policies that allowed only one tribal gaming facility per tribe on reservation land.

She emphasized the potential implications of this deviation, particularly on the existing tribal gaming facilities and the local communities. The letter’s primary purpose was to bring attention to the issue and raise awareness about the potential consequences.

The letter details Kotek’s stance on gaming and whether her office would endorse any type of gambling expansion. Kotek considers this a matter of great interest to various parties, including tribes, legislators and communities.

“There is also the Coquille’s Tribe application to the Department of Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs to have land in Medford taken into trust for the purpose of gaming (Class II),โ€ her letter reads.

It was also sent to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs.

Potential statewide effect

Building a new casino in Medford could be detrimental to the tribes in Oregon as they depend heavily on the revenue generated from casino gaming to support public services like housing, education, healthcare and social services for tribal members. It may also negatively impact the tribes in Northern California.

“This proposal would not only lead to the expansion of gaming in the area but would create many more concerns about the expansion of gaming statewide,” Kotek said.

Former Governors John Kitzhaber and Kate Brown had previously also sent letters to the Bureau of Indian Affairs opposing the gaming proposal.

The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians estimated that building the casino in Medford โ€” only 70 miles away from their Seven Feathers Casino Resort โ€” would lead to a 25 percent decrease in their tribal government services.

Last month, Secretary Haaland met with Oregon’s tribal leaders in Bend to discuss the casino project’s land placement, as the U.S. Department of the Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs will have the final say on the matter.

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