Elections | Oregon | Election 2012: Measures

Casino Supporters Suspend Campaign

OPB | Oct. 17, 2012 7:17 a.m. | Updated: Oct. 21, 2012 11:22 p.m. | Portland

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The supporters of two Oregon ballot measures that would open the door for non-tribal casinos in the state, say they’re suspending that campaign. In a statement, the casino backers acknowledged the measures appear unlikely to pass.

Casino backers have spent millions of dollars running ads like this one promoting the Grange, a gambling facility that would be located at the site of the former Multnomah Kennel Club in Wood Village.

But casino backers now say they’re not sure that “possibility” is actually achievable. With just weeks to go before election, backers say they’re suspending campaign operations and won’t spend any more money on advertising, although they still hope the ballot measures pass.

Measure 82 would amend the constitution to allow non-tribal casinos and requires those casinos to give a percentage of their revenue to the state lottery. Measure 83 would authorize the casino in Multnomah County. A statement put out by the campaign explains the decision this way.

“… it appears to the campaign team that not enough Oregon voters are ready to add a private casino to the state’s gaming options.”

The statement goes on to say that the final decision will be up to Oregon voters.

Cynara Lilly is a spokeswoman for “Still A Bad Idea.” That’s a political action committee funded by tribal gaming interests that was set up to oppose the measures.

She says it’s not clear what effect, if any, the announcement will have on the opposition’s efforts in these final weeks.

Lilly said, “I think we’re going to take a little time and assess that. But we’re going to keep talking about what these measures would do to Oregon and what this would mean for the tribes if these pass, and what it would mean for the economy if they pass, and what it would mean for the culture of the state if they pass.”

Oregon ballots are set to go out this week.

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