Casino Measures on the Ballot

, Posted: Mon, September 10 2012 at 6:42 PM, Updated: Mon, September 10 2012 at 7:27 PM

Medford's first casino is in the works. The Coquille Tribe bought Roxy Ann Lanes, Kims Restaurant and leased the Bear Creek Golf Course on South Pacific Highway. Right now there are nine tribal casinos in Oregon.

However, two new ballot measures are getting thrown into the mix as well.

Measures 82 and 83, if passed, would open the door for more casinos to crop up.

Measure 82 would change the Oregon constitution to allow non-tribal, private casinos so long as certain conditions are met. The main condition, that the community agrees to allow them.

The second measure would allow a specific casino, The Grange, to be located in the Portland area.

"More casinos popping up would be great," said Ulrich Cantrell, a Medford resident.

"Anything to boost the economy in the area would be great. Create more jobs around here. We need something this place going again," said Rogue River resident Dan Summers.

Proponents say if the measures are passed, it would mean an extra $32-million to $54-million a year for the state and local communities.

Add to that the number of tribal casinos and this becomes a changing landscape for Oregon.

"Mini Las Vegas, that'd be okay with me, so long as it stays mini," said Summers.

"I don't want a mini Las Vegas here, I don't think it would be a good place to raise my kids," said Medford resident Amanda Heater.

Right now Jackson and Josephine counties have no casinos, but between the Coquille tribal plan for Medford and the measures, that could change.

Opponents of measures 82 and 83 say the damage done to families and communities because of gambling addiction outweighs the extra money.

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