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Lottery Profits

Pete Springer/OPB

Profits from the Oregon Lottery pay for important things like schools, parks and salmon restoration, to name a few. And they are also increasingly important to bar and tavern owners, many of whom are struggling to survive a statewide smoking ban and the ongoing recession.

Those contracts with bars and retailers are up for renewal, and the Oregon Lottery Commission will be voting on Friday on Director Dale Penn’s recommendations to protect those profits from immediate cuts.

Advocacy groups like Stand for Children of Oregon have been vociferous in advocating that more lottery profits are needed for schools and that retailers could stand a cut and still get a “reasonable rate of return,” as specified in the Oregon Constitution.

We’ll also check in on what’s before Washington voters in next week’s election and the race for Vancouver mayor — the closest in recent memory. In addition, voters in Washington will decide a referendum on a domestic partner law and a property tax limitation proposal by anti-tax activist Tim Eyman.

What are you paying the most attention to on the Washington ballot?

Are you a bar or tavern owner? How much do you depend on profits from video poker games? Do you have kids in school? How much lottery money do you think should be coming your way? What’s the right balance to strike between retailer profits and state services?


  • Austin Jenkins: Olympia correspondent for OPB News
  • John Laird: Editorial page editor at the Columbian Newspaper
  • Holly Pruett: Executive director of Stand for Children
  • Seth Leavens: Co-owner of The Belmont Inn and The Space Room in Portland
  • Bob Whelan: Senior economist at ECONorthwest
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