Canadian Gaming Firms in for Hard Battle in Oregon

Two major Canadian firms are hoping to make a significant investment in the expansion of gambling operations in the state of Oregon; but are hitting a number of roadblocks along the way.  Great Canadian Gaming Corp. in Vancouver and Toronto based Clairvest; an investment firm with interests in the gambling industry will have to take on a number of opponents in their fight including Oregon governor John Kitzhaber.

The governor has been a long time opponent to gambling and is expected to make a campaign ad encouraging voters to reject changes in gambling laws that have been put forth for a vote.  The reforms are called Measures 82 and 83, which would allow casinos that are not established on tribal lands to be setup throughout the state.  One of those casinos is planned to be established at the grounds of the former greyhound racing track in Wood Village.

Kitzhaber is a popular third term governor with a lot of influence over the people he represents.  With his stance so vocally against the idea of establishing a casino some swing voters who may have been considering the proposals might be convinced to vote against them.

Kitzhaber’s spokesman Tim Raphael says part of the governor’s stance is in regards to standing up for the Oregon native tribes.  Under a state law that was passed in agreement with nine of the tribes, they would each have only one casino on their lands and would face no competition from private casinos; in other words the Oregon government banned private casinos in partnership with the native tribes.

“They kept their end of the bargain; it’s wrong to break our agreement.”

Stacey Dycus one of the proponents for the expansion says the campaign is less about politics and more about the voters.  She says under the constitutional law the people are the ones with the power to change the gambling practices and they will be working hard to promote the passing of 82 and 83.

Canada’s operators are in for a hard fight especially with legislative support not on their side.  But as the televised debates in the U.S. presidential campaign proved, unexpected performances can really change voters’ opinions.

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