Representatives of the Coquille Indian Tribe say they’re moving forward with a proposal to build a casino in Medford, despite opposition from the Governor’s office.
In a letter delivered this week, Governor John Kitzhaber urged the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs to reject the tribe’s application to bring 2.5 acres of land into trust for gaming purposes.
The tribe already operates a casino in North Bend. And Kitzhaber said he was concerned about “the broader policy implications and the potential for expansion of casinos and gaming throughout the state.”
Ray Doering is Director of Communications for the Coquille Economic Development Corporation. He says the tribe remains undeterred.
“If every tribe backed off whenever this kind of opposition was raised there probably won’t be any tribal casinos in the country. So this is a long process so we’ll work with the state and local governments to make this happen.”
Doering says the tribe hopes to soon begin developing an environmental impact statement for the proposed site.
The Coquille proposal would allow for Class II gaming. That includes video gambling, but prohibits tables like roulette or blackjack.