Should Oregon allow casinos off tribal lands?

Bruce Studer and Matt Rossman formed the Good For Oregon organization to petition for turning the former Multnomah Kennel Club into a destination resort casino. But first, they have to amend a law that bans casinos on non-tribal lands in the state.

In a Taxpayer Association straw poll responders were asked whether they would approve of a casino being built in Oregon off tribal lands. Of almost 1000 responders, three out of four said “no”.

No: 74%
Yes: 26%
Total Respondents: 967

Some of the Key arguments for and against…

Proponents say: Imagine if a company was considering Oregon for a project that will create thousands of new jobs. Imagine if this business paid nearly $200 million in taxes every year to benefit k-12 public education and other vital local services. Imagine if that business didn’t request a dime of taxpayer subsidy or special treatment to build and operate the facility.

Critics say: It will cut into the tribe’s revenues stream and might impact existing lottery revenues. Gambling addiction might rise and it may not be fiscally prudent to rely so heavily on a single source of revenue (what if projects don’t pan out? what if they have a bad year?)

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Posted by at 06:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 56 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Rupert in Springfield

    Well, obviously I would be in the minority but maybe it is time to think about this sort of thing. Im not usually a big fan of gambling as a major tax revenue stream, but at this point Oregon is desperate.

    With Oregon’s primary export being jobs it would be nice to start looking at anything, and I mean anything, that would increase employment in the state.

    We have a horrendous economy that is not expecting to add jobs any time soon. We have major actuarial problems with PERS that will soon start bankrupting the state.

    Oregon needs to be more in the business of deciding what it does want and a little less in the business of saying what it doesn’t want.

  • surefoot

    Is this site affiliated with the Fox network? I only ask after looking at the pie chart, or did Lars write this.

  • Anonymous

    YES YES and YES.

    Allowing casinos on tribal land but not elsewhere is blatant racist discrimination.

    Any argument that casinos are “evil” or “sinful” goes nowhere unless you are willing to back it up with a ban on tribal casinos as well as a ban on non-tribal ones.

    In a libertarian free market capitalist society of individual liberty and personal responsibility – things so-called “fiscal conservatives” are supposed to believe in – people should be free to go into business with a casino, and consumers should be free to spend money in them or not.

    Casinos are proven cash cows for taxation. Everyone who loses money in a casino is contributing to the tax base – and doing so VOLUNTARILY. Meanwhile, the casinos create other business opportunities and jobs for construction, hotels, restaurants, shopping, travel and more.

    Why is this even up for debate? What possible actual real world negatives are there?

    The only argument ANYONE can make against is that casinos are “bad” and hurt people – well, then either ban them all (because plenty of people are already going to the tribal casinos), or else shut the hell up with the morality talk and let people live their lives how they want to.

    • Mary’s Opinion

      If someone disagrees with another’s idea, Why? Why? Why? Is the disagreeing person so frequently called a racist?

  • Editor

    Thank you for the comments, the chart has been fixed.

  • Bob Clark

    I would especially favor casinos off tribal lands if you could buy tax free goods at these mini free enterprise zones. And why stop with casinos, maybe off tribal lands, nongovernment regulated healthcare facilities and other free enterprise zone facilities.

  • IRS Agent

    Yes, no reason all the revenue should be kept on the reservations!

  • Dan

    Why not? The days of being a production-based culture are long gone and, while the decline is in progress, we might as well try to wring whatever money remains to be had.

    • valley p

      “The days of being a production-based culture are long gone ”

      That is something of a myth. American produces more than we ever have. A lot fewer people work in manufacturing because it has become so darn efficient labor wise. But I believe we remain the largest manufacturer in the world. We just make more with fewer workers, and that would not be a bad thing if we could find other useful and well paying jobs for people.

  • Dan

    Please define “useful” job as it refers to the expansion of gambling, siphoning social security payments from addicted seniors, etc.

    • valley p

      If you think of gambling as entertainment, then dealing blackjack is as just as useful as the Glen Beck show or People Magazine.

      • Duh?

        or Keith Olbermann and the National Enquirer.

  • Dan

    Debating the issue with you would be entertaining . . . but not necessarily useful since you seem to think that, just because we can, we should.

    • valley p

      Because we can we should what? Have more casinos? I’m opposed to it.

  • sallysmith

    Can we sell paoti off reservations too? How about fireworks?
    LOTTERY produces demands on health care. The income is false.

    IF WE DO A LOTTERY then we need to make sure that those spending money there ARE NOT RECIPIENTS OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS (IE TAXES I PAY), otherwise, I should recieve a portion of their winnings.

    I know many people who spend lottery dollars, those are also the same ones who take food stamps, have foreclosed or are in the process of being forclosed upon. One has gotten government subsidy since her mortgage was upside down and got a reduction in interest and prinicipal balance. SHE USED MY TAX DOLLARS to get benefits, and now instead of taking the cash ahead and using it for purchase of things causing a sustainable economy, she wastes the extra on LOTTERY ….WITH MY TAX MONEY! IF SHE WINS I GUARANTEE SHE WONT GIVE ME A PORTION OF IT

  • Bad Boy Jones

    Face it folks, except for income taxes for employees these Indian Casinos pay NOTHING to the State of Oregon. A Non-Tribal Casino could pay large amounts of taxes to Salem. And expect to see all sorts of phony arguements attempting to cloud this point in the weeks ahead.

    • Leave’malone

      Read the Oregon legislation,https://www.leg.state.or.us/comm/commsrvs/tribe-gm.pdf

      Indian casinos are not required to pay state taxes, but the casinos have provided a way for the Indian people to at least live above a life of poverty. They are a sovern nation and have been expected to live and exist on the land the white man gave them…it would be nice if people would read the history facts before complaining about something they know nothing about.

      The Indian casinos are not filthy disgusting places, but rather a place for people to entertain themselves for a short period of time…who can afford a $25 plus another $25 for pop corn to watch a liberal biased hollywood bunch of over paid “actors”…please, call it what you want to, but leave people alone that choose to have the freedom to do as they wish.

      • Anonymous

        There is another way for Indians to live above a life of poverty – it is called GETTING OFF THE RESERVATION, STOPPING DRINKING, GOING TO SCHOOL, AND WORKING FOR A LIVING.

        The rest of us can do it – without casinos – why can’t they?

  • Dan

    Aside from the issue of expanding the enabling of behaviors that tend to empoverish rather than empower customers, it would be interesting to see if a private sector casino could even compete with an Indian establishment. A private casino would have to conform to so many building codes, zoning/land use, labor issues, taxes etc from which Indian casinos are exempt, I doubt you’d see many private casinos stay profitable after the market has been saturated.

  • The Bill Post Radio Show

    How about asking “should we allow Indian Casino’s AT ALL?”
    Filthy, disgusting places that are riddled with dishonesty and tax cheats.
    I hate them and the Oregon Lottery. We have an entire state devoted to idiots wanting to part with their money and it’s a short plane or car ride away.
    Now that this state is completely hooked to this drug, we will never wean ourselves from it.
    “IDIOT TAX” as I would rather call it.
    Close them all down or this state will face the deepest moral dilemma it has ever faced.

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely yes….

    Gaming is a legitimate business interest, and a huge revenue generator. Much more tax revenue would be generated and many jobs created by allowing corporate interests to bring gaming into the state.

    The tribes are allowed to discriminate against anyone not tribal. Most, if not all, the tribes having casinos in Oregon have programs and policies in place to push out non-tribal people who start up the business, to replace them with tribal members. Often they are chosen based on family affiliation rather than merit, skill, or training. Generally speaking, the more pay or power a position gets the harder the push to fill it with tribal members. Allowing corporate, non-tribal, gaming would serve to force the tribes to quit discriminating against it’s non-tribal staff because they have somewhere else to go when treated poorly.

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