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January 2014

Gaming: Oregon Lottery: Slot machines call to gamblers across the state - If you took the slot machines from all nine Oregon tribal casinos and put them under one roof, they wouldn't rival the state lottery's gambling empire. Not even close.

October 2013

Gaming: Tribal Casinos Move into New Territory: High-End Luxury - Tribal casinos are trying to appeal to a new kind of customer—one who may not even gamble at all. Across the Northwest, one-time no-frills casinos are expanding into resort-style destinations and adding high-end amenities like spas, fine dining, and luxury hotels. The tribes are hoping to give Las Vegas a run for its money.

June 2013

Gaming: National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) Publishes Final Rule for Tribal Self-Regulation - Gaming tribes, particularly tribes conducting only Class II gaming, should take notice of the publication by the National Indian Gaming Commission (“NIGC”) of a revised final rule for Self-Regulation of Class II Gaming earlier last month.

May 2013

Gaming: Native American Tribes Considering Online Poker Coalitions - A story at developed after last week’s National Indian Gaming Association annual conference in Phoenix. GC’s Dave Palermo reports that recent action at the state level to regulate online poker and gaming — in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware == is forcing tribes to look more closely at their options.

April 2013

Gaming: Commission hears arguments on Taunton tribal casino - Mashpee Wampanoag chairman Cedric Cromwell boldly predicted Thursday that his tribe will overcome legal obstacles this year to building a Taunton tribal casino and urged the state gambling commission to extend a ban on commercial casino development in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Gaming: New bill targets tribal gaming in Idaho - Gambling opponents launched a new attack on tribal casinos in Idaho on Monday on moral grounds, introducing legislation calling for a state-funded legal challenge, declaring tribal gaming machines unconstitutional and requiring lawmakers to approve any gaming compact changes. “The purpose of this is to again establish legislative control over the gambling in the state of Idaho,” former Idaho Supreme Court Justice Robert Bakes, a gambling opponent, told the Senate State Affairs Committee.

Gaming: Kent City Council discusses expansion of casino gambling - Kent City Councilman Les Thomas decided to throw his cards on the table to see whether fellow council members and residents want to remove the city's ban on casinos as a way to boost tax revenue.

Gaming: Kent City Council committee approves casino gambling tax cut proposal - A Kent City Council committee voted 2-1 Tuesday on a proposal to reduce the city's gambling tax on gross revenues of casino card rooms from 11 percent to 7 percent in order to help the Great American Casino cut its losses.

January 2013

Gaming: Federal, Tribal Leaders Converge in Seattle for Indian Gaming Summit - Federal and Tribal leaders converged in Seattle, Washington for the 10th Annual Gaming Law Summit, December 13-14, to discuss the various emerging legal, regulatory, political and economic developments impacting the Indian gaming industry. Among the important influencers in the Indian gaming industry at the summit are: Tracie Stevens, chairwoman of the National Indian Gaming Commission; Ernie Stevens, chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association; Ron Allen, chairman of the Washington Indian Gaming Association; Phil Harju, vice chairman of the Cowlitz Tribal Council; Glen Gobin, secretary of the Tulalip Tribe Board of Directors; and Norm DesRosiers, San Manuel gaming commissioner.

November 2012

Gaming: Tribes Clash Over Gambling - Oregon's Coquille Indian planning the Medford casino. But the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua says the new casino would divert gamblers from its own Seven Feathers casino resort, 70 miles north of Medford. Note: The statement in this article that "the the BIA approved Washington's Cowlitz tribe's plan to build a full-service, Las Vegas-style casino on non-reservation land" is false. The application was to put the land into trust and to build a casino, there. It has never been about an off-reservation casino.

Gaming: State Measures 82 and 83: Casino measures fail after supporters suspend their campaign - As expected, two casino-related ballot measures lost badly late Tuesday. Measure 82 would have changed the state constitution to allow private casinos in Oregon. Measure 83 would have sited a casino complex in Wood Village, a small municipality east of Portland.

Gaming: United States: Racing To New Off-Reservation Gaming In Oregon - Oregon currently has nine tribal casinos. A race is on to build new casinos to capture the Portland and Medford markets. The stakes are high - casino backers project $400 million in adjusted gross revenue for a casino near Portland. But despite investments of millions of dollars, each runner is frozen at the starting line. A Medford casino proposed by the Coquille Tribe faces daunting administrative hurdles. A proposed non-Indian casino only 15 miles from downtown Portland is destined to fail at the ballot box. A casino in the Columbia Gorge town of Cascade Locks proposed by the Warm Springs Tribes has been shelved. Meanwhile, the Cowlitz Tribe's proposed 3,000-machine casino just across the Columbia River from Portland is mired in litigation. For now, it looks like the Grand Ronde Spirit Mountain Casino will maintain its prized position as the closest casino gaming to Portland.

Gaming: Oregon Initiatives Could Open Door to Non-Tribal Gaming - The race to watch in Oregon may not be between people. Instead, voters, especially in the American Indian community, are training their eyes on a ballot initiative that would allow private, nontribal gaming—two measures that could sink the tribes, Native leaders say. If voters approve the two state ballot initiatives known as measures 82 and 83, Indian gaming could get hit with enough stiff competition to cause serious damage, those opposed say.

October 2012

Gaming: Canadian group is behind casinos - On Oct. 17, the Canadian backers said they would stop promoting the measures because Oregon clearly isn’t ready to support private casinos. However, the measures will both be on the ballot. The casino backers are mainly Canadian investors. To take a look at something similar, check out the Great Canadian Gamin Inc., resort in Vancouver, British Columbia. One provision of the law change sets a perimeter which would ban other applications within a 60-mile distance from Indian casinos. While this appears to be a well-intentioned clause, in fact, it would guarantee the Wood Village site’s overseas owners a lucrative monopoly in the heavily populated Portland area. Our recommendation last time was two words: Hell, no! At the risk of being repetitive, our recommendation this time is identical.

Gaming: Folding, for now, on a private casino in Oregon - While Measures 82 and 83 will still be on the ballot for voters to approve or deny, backers determined last week that their odds of winning are so slim, they should stop pouring money into the bet. Good call.

Gaming: Casino gambling in Portland - Let's assume that a group of investors comes along in a few years with a proposal that gives the state a big enough cut of casino revenue to assuage voters' fear about potential lottery losses. That alone won't blunt opposition, of course. The more important question is what makes sense for Oregon as a whole. First, let's be honest about gambling: Oregon is neck deep in the business already. The appearance of a casino near Portland, in other words, wouldn't transform Oregon into something it isn't now. What it would do, however, is save time, money and gasoline. Measures 82 and 83 may not deserve your vote, but the case for a Portland area casino will endure.

Gaming: Oregon casino proposal would give Canadian firms a juicy market, favorable terms - To listen to Rod Baker and Jeff Parr talk, the two Canadian companies they run would be doing Oregon a big favor by building a casino in Portland's backyard. That's one way to look at it. Another is that voters, if they pass Measures 82 and 83, would be handing Clairvest and Great Canadian exclusive entry into Oregon's most prized gambling territory and giving them a far bigger share of the profits than they get at their casinos in Canada and elsewhere. Voters face a question: Is this a good deal for the state? Or is Oregon being played?

Gaming: Ex-casino owner facing financial troubles - Robert Saucier, the elusive businessman whose Mars Hotel and Casino in downtown Spokane mysteriously burned to the ground in 1999, is in financial trouble in Las Vegas. For at least the third time, Saucier or his casino supply company, Galaxy Gaming Inc., are accused by bankers and other creditors of hiding assets to avoid paying debts.

Gaming: Oregon AFL-CIO throws union support behind proposed casino - On Thursday, the Oregon AFL-CIO, which represents 135,000 Oregon workers, announced its endorsement of The Grange. If Measures 82 and 83 pass, along with a local Wood Village ballot measure, the construction on the casino and resort would start in November and it would open in 2014. The Oregon AFL-CIO president said he has received guarantees that the project will create more than 2,000 good-paying jobs.

Gaming: Measures 82, 83 push privately owned casinos - Ballot measures 82 and 83 would open the door for privately owned casinos throughout Oregon, potentially competing with the nine casinos owned by Indian tribes. Under Measure 82, no casino could be sited within 60 miles of a tribal casino, and a casino could only be sited in an incorporated city.

Gaming: Gaming money at stake - Voters will choose between two sets of competing interests Nov. 6, when they decide a pair of ballot measures authorizing Oregon’s first private casino, which would compete with Spirit Mountain Casino, 30 miles west of Salem. In favor of them are two Lake Oswego businessmen, backed by Canadian investors who want to spend at least $250 million to redevelop the former Multnomah Greyhound Park east of Portland into one of the nation’s largest casinos and entertainment complexes.

Gaming: Oregon's ex-governors agree: Private casino a bad idea - Three former Oregon governors joined current Gov. John Kitzhaber on Monday to oppose a set of ballot measures they say could lead to a massive expansion of gambling in the state. But supporters of a proposed private casino development in Wood Village suggested the governors are in league with tribal casino interests, and that voters have a different outlook.

Gaming: Oregon has plenty of gambling already - The key question about Ballot Measures 82 and 83 is this: Does Oregon have a shortage of gambling? Two years ago, Oregon voters decisively said no. With a state Lottery and nine tribal casinos, Oregonians chose not to welcome non-tribal gambling enterprises. Now, with the same developers renewing their pitch for a “family friendly entertainment and casino destination” near Portland, voters have no reason to change their minds.

Gaming: Do Measures 82 and 83 authorize just one new casino in Oregon? - In their campaign ad, "Different," proponents of a new casino in Wood Village assure viewers that their proposal would not lead to a proliferation of gambling complexes in Oregon. We rate the statement Half True -- partially accurate, missing an important detail.

Gaming: NIGA Chairman Ernie Stevens Jr. Weighs In on Carcieri and Internet Gaming - The Supreme Court’s Carcieri decision was a direct attack on tribal sovereignty. It attacks the ability of tribes to restore our homelands, and that is a core aspect of tribal sovereignty. The case is a jobs killer for Indian country, which is already facing unemployment rates averaging 50 percent, and it’s further harming tribal economies by deterring investment in Indian country. I think the chances of Congress passing a clean Carcieri fix prior to the election are minimal. Congress is in D.C. for less than 10 days of work before they leave town to campaign for the November 6 elections. Our best window of opportunity in 2012 will be the lame-duck session from mid-November to mid-December.

Gaming: On The Grange, sarcasm and slot machines - It turns out that as dependent as Oregon is on gambling -- from scratch-off tickets to tribal casinos -- Oregonians are still allowed to make fun of it. These days, you take your First Amendment victories where you can get get them. Even if Grange supporters might not cherish an endorsement promising "the measures will create desperately needed opportunities for Portland's struggling pawn shops, bankruptcy attorneys, and repo men," the state elections division cited an attorney general ruling that all opinion was protected.

Gaming: Developers seek Douglas County support for Portland-area casino - A bus tour promoting two ballot measures that would green light Oregon’s first privately owned casino visited Roseburg on Wednesday to speak with business owners and spread goodwill. The Yes On 82-83 Committee is on a two-week tour rallying statewide support for a Portland-area casino, which would be larger than any of the nine tribal casinos in Oregon.

Gaming: Was Grange investor part of New York casino deal called corrupt and rigged? - The people opposed to a private casino in Wood Village came out swinging in their first campaign ad. They renamed the Grange casino complex the "Grunge" and branded Canadian backers Clairvest as foreigners. Not only that, but the TV spot claims that casino backers would bring "a history of scandal and crime" to Oregon. As evidence, they point to a failed New York venture in 2010. We need to introduce the players for those not following the campaign. The owner and operator of The Grange would be PDX Entertainment Company, but the big money backers are Clairvest Group and the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. Both are based in Canada and operate multiple casinos. Clairvest previously had served as the primary financial backer on a race track casino project in Queens, New York, as part of the Aqueduct Entertainment Group consortium. AEG was awarded the contract in 2010 despite having the lowest up-front money bid. The offer was rescinded under media scrutiny. The deal fell apart.

Gaming: Viva Las Portland gets green light to continue satirical support for casino campaign - Viva Las Portland, a political committee that offers seemingly satirical reasons for supporting a private casino in east Multnomah County, has survived a legal challenge brought by the casino's backers.

Gaming: After the way they beat up the Cowlitz, a limp little swat at the Grange - Jeers: To The Grange. No, not the original Patrons of Husbandry, but to the proposed megacasino project east of Portland that co-opts the fraternal organization's venerable name. If you haven't noticed, Portland TV is bombarded with advertising that touts the supposed benefits of this proposed privately owned facility. At the same time it would offer as many slots as a Las Vegas casino, the owners promise family entertainment out of the other corner of their mouths. Oregon voters would do well to reject Measure 82, which would allow these privately owned casinos, and Measure 83, which would specifically authorize The Grange to be built at the site of the old Multnomah Kennel Club greyhound track in Wood Village.

September 2012

Gaming: Casino developers see jackpot in Portland - After going bust in their first three attempts to get voters to approve Oregon’s first nontribal casino, a group of investors is going all in this year. With ample money from a Canadian investment firm, the proponents are feverishly selling Oregonians on their plans to build a casino and entertainment complex just outside Portland.

Gaming: Oregon casino supporters spend heavily on Measures 82, 83 - Backers of Ballot Measures 82 and 83 have kicked in $1.7 million so far this year in their effort to persuade Oregon voters to approve a privately run casino in Wood Village, state records show. The records show the group, listed as the Yes on 82 & 83 Committee, still has more than $800,000 in the bank. Opponents have put up about $400,000 so far, most of it coming from the Confederate Tribes of the Grand Ronde, which run Spirit Mountain Casino near Salem.

Gaming: Casino Backers Threaten to Sue Over Opponents' Campaign Ads - Proponents of two ballot measures that would authorize a private Wood Village casino are threatening to sue the measures’ opponents over an ad that mocks the project’s name and raises questions about the casino’s main investor.

Gaming: Grange vs. Grunge: lawyers enter casino battle royale - Both sides in the battle of The Grange vs. The Grunge have lawyered up. A lawyer for backers of a proposed casino in Wood Village, which they're calling The Grange, sent a threatening letter to opponents of the casino demanding that they withdraw their TV ad, which uses terms such as "rigged and corrupt" to describe the casino's main investors. Casino opponents responded with the legal equivalent of "bring it on."

Gaming: Casino memorandum of understanding on Wood Village City Council agenda tonight - The Wood Village City Council at its regular meeting tonight will consider a memorandum of understanding with the company hoping to develop the privately owned casino at the site of a former race track in Wood Village. The document outlines how the parties will proceed, should voters decide in the November to allow private, non-tribal casinos in the state.

Gaming: New Oregon political committee offers sarcastic support of casino - A new political committee calling itself "Viva Las Portland" says it wants more gambling in Oregon, although it appears to more of a spoof or an attempt at ironic humor than a serious endeavor.

Gaming: Casino opponents speak out - Opponents of a proposed private casino at the former dog track in nearby Wood Village said Monday it would increase crime in east Multnomah County, take money away from tribes and cater to gambling addicts.

Gaming: 'Grange' casino sides reach temporary name deal - Developers of a proposed privately operated Wood Village casino can use their preferred name "The Grange" for the project — At least for now.

Gaming: Oregon casino ads play up jobs, schools, but tread lightly on gambling - Supporters of a proposed casino in the Portland area already have launched four TV ads and mailed an elaborate full-color brochure to thousands of potential voters with barely a glimpse of a blackjack table. There's a reason for that. Casino backers, who tried and failed two years ago to get voter approval, know Oregonians are squeamish about a privately run casino. So the ads emphasize the other aspects of the proposal, including the number of jobs it would bring and the slice of revenue that public schools would get.

Gaming: The name game - Some money has changed hands, and now the National Grange is OK with the organization’s venerable name being applied to the proposed casino in Wood Village near Portland. But the name doesn’t fit any better than it did before. The casino promoters are calling attention to the resort aspects of their development, including a waterpark and bowling alley. But they could build a resort without first passing the initiatives. The essential point remains that it’s a casino they want to build.

Gaming: Group says legal action planned over 'Grange' casino name - The fraternal organization National Grange says it will take legal action against the developers behind a proposed casino called The Grange. The organization said Friday that officials will discuss their plans in a news conference next week. National Grange officials said last week they own the trademark on the word "grange" and demanded that the casino developers stop using the name or agree to pay for it.

Gaming: Great Canadian Gaming Announces It Is Pursuing An Entertainment Center And Casino Opportunity In Oregon - Great Canadian Gaming Corporation [TSX:GC] ("Great Canadian" or the "Company") announced today that it has acquired a minority equity interest in PDX Entertainment Company ("PDX"), an Oregon corporation, through a newly formed subsidiary. PDX, whose shareholders include financial partners with gaming experience and resident Oregon businesses, is pursuing the opportunity to build and operate an entertainment and gaming complex on a 31 acre site in Wood Village, Oregon, a City approximately 20 kilometres east of Portland.

Gaming: Citizen Board Split On Casino Ballot Measures - The Citizens' Initiative Review has come up with six findings on the potential impact of Measures 82 and 83. Panelists split with 7 in support of the measure, and 17 opposing.

Gaming: A Brief and Incomplete History of Things Named "The Grange" - The backers of a Wood Village casino on the November ballot revealed yesterday the project's scope—and a name: The Grange. Not everybody is impressed with the Grange. The Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review Commission recommended against the fall ballot measure this afternoon in a 17-7 vote. "Private casinos could negatively affect the gaming revenues of the tribal casinos and the communities they support," the CIRC finding said. A casino calling itself the Grange is roughly the equivalent of a video-game arcade calling itself the 4-H Center.

Gaming: New Casino Certainly Embodies the Spirit of Oregon - The Wood Village casino campaign headed for the ballot this fall released a very serious voice-over video that calls on Oregonians to hearken back to the good old days of dog racing in Wood Village and says the planned casino and waterpark will be an "exciting new community" that embodies "bygone spirit" of Oregon. What says "Oregon" more than gambling indoors? And apparently there will be a farmers' market at the site, because Oregonians always pair their blackjack habit with the purchase of fresh vegetables.

August 2012

Gaming: Campaign to legalize online gambling in U.S. worries tribal casinos in Washington, elsewhere - Legalization of online gaming is inevitable now that the Obama administration has “opened the door,” said John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance. He’s backing a plan that would allow the Commerce Department to certify states to regulate online poker, while allowing states to go beyond their own borders to accept bets from players.

Gaming: Tribes Want Federal Regulation of Internet Gaming - With some states readying to start online gambling, Native American tribal leaders are calling on the federal government to step in as it did with brick-and-mortar gambling and establish regulations that ensure tribes get a piece of the action without having their revenue taxed and their sovereignty compromised.

Gaming: Tribes Want Federal Regulation of Internet Gaming - With some states readying to start online gambling, Native American tribal leaders are calling on the federal government to step in as it did with brick-and-mortar gambling and establish regulations that ensure tribes get a piece of the action without having their revenue taxed and their sovereignty compromised.

Gaming: Rumors Arise that Indian Tribes Could Be Working On Their Own Federal Online Poker Bill - Speculation has arisen that Indian Tribes may be working on their own federal online poker bill especially since the tribes are going to be meeting this Thursday for a hearing of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. The hearing is set for this Thursday afternoon and will be broadcast live online at the Indian Affairs website.

Gaming: Proposal to Allow Private Casinos in Oregon Makes November Ballot - Oregon residents will vote on a proposal to allow non-tribal casinos to operate in the state on the November ballot. The Secretary of State’s Office certified the initiative on Friday, reported the Associated Press. The measure would remove a ruling in the Oregon constitution that only tribally owned casinos are permitted in the state. Oregon tribes operating the state’s nine casinos have pledged to fight attempts to repeal Oregon’s ban on non-tribal gambling facilities.

July 2012

Gaming: Small tribes get locked out in Indian casino wars - In Washington, where 23 tribes already operate 32 casinos, the Duwamish Tribe is all but locked out, the ­victim of a system that allows either Congress or the Bureau of Indian Affairs to pick the winners and losers and who will get the big-money casinos.

Gaming: Even with rules that Idaho's Echo Hawk relaxed, tribes face many pitfalls - It’s unlikely that anyone will ever accuse the Bureau of Indian Affairs of acting in haste. Just ask Bill Iyall, the chairman of the Cowlitz Tribe in Washington state: It took 26 years for the tribe to win federal recognition from the BIA, the first requirement for opening a casino. And after getting the Bureau of Indian Affairs to sign off on its purchase of 152 acres of new land — another requirement — the tribe is still fighting opponents in federal court for the right to begin building a gambling empire near the town of La Center.

Gaming: Indian tribes moving to open more casinos far from home - Art Reber, a retired professor from Point Roberts, Washington, and the co-author of "Gambling For Dummies," said that the market ultimately will determine if the tribes are overplaying their hands. "When you start sticking neon signs and huge casinos at the Joshua Tree entrance, it starts to get a little ugly," he said. "If you overbuild, you will hurt yourself, and I'm not sure the tribes are necessarily sensitive to these market issues. There's a saturation point here that you can't go beyond."

June 2012

Gaming: Coming Up Aces at Coastal Casinos - You can stack the deck on summer fun with a visit to any one of the three Northwest coastal casinos on your upcoming beach getaway. Go all in on a coastal casino experience at Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City, Oregon, Mill Casino in North Bend, Oregon or Quinault Beach Resort & Casino in Ocean Shores, Washington.

Gaming: Supreme Court Decision in Patchak Case Has Mixed Credit Implications for Gaming Sector - On June 18, 2012, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that David Patchak, an individual, has standing and can file suit against the government's decision to take land into trust on behalf of a Native American tribe. The court offered no conclusions regarding the merits of Patchak's case; it simply allows the case to proceed in the lower courts. Fitch believes this ruling has several key credit implications for the gaming sector: It is likely to result in increased challenges from anti-gaming interests regarding land-into-trust decisions for tribes, as it lengthens the statute of limitations on judicial review to six years from 30 days; Raising capital for Native American casino projects could become more difficult/expensive, as investors are likely to have heightened concern about potential challenges regarding land-into-trust decisions; Casino operators that face the possibility of increased competition from potential casino projects tied to land-into-trust decisions could benefit from a longer regulatory process.

Gaming: Woodland casino revenues fall short - Prior to the Oak Tree Casino's opening five months ago, Woodland council members cautioned the city administration against using its revenues to pay for recurring city expenses such as contracting out the city's fire department services. The council's stance looks prescient now. The Oak Tree is on pace to provide the city half the $200,000 in tax revenues casino officials projected for 2012, Woodland city officials said this week. Meanwhile, La Center's four cardrooms generated a higher combined gross income in 2012's first three months ($8.1 million) than they did during last year's first three months ($7.7 million), according to La Center city officials. The cardrooms paid more in taxes in 2012's first quarter ($810,864) than during the same period last year ($797,423).

Gaming: Wood Village casino measures appear headed to Oregon ballot - Backers of a proposed private casino at the old greyhound track in Wood Village appear likely to qualify two measures for the Oregon ballot in November. That would set up the second election fight in as many years over the contentious issue.

Gaming: Second Woodland casino unlikely to open this year - A planned second casino near the site of the Oak Tree Casino in Woodland is unlikely to open this year, general manager Chuck McCormick said Thursday. Opening the casino annex on the old Parr Lumber lot behind the Oak Tree remains in the cards, he said. However, growing the initial casino has taken precedent for the time being. Officials with the city and casino had previously talked about the casino annex opening this year. April's tax revenue grew between $15,000 to $20,000 from the previous month, and more customers continue to walk through the doors, McCormick said.

May 2012

Gaming: Trying to Beat the Odds - Promoters of a private casino are betting they have a better story than in 2010. Bruce Studer and Matt Rossman of Lake Oswego—are back. They are again financed by Clairvest, a Canadian investment firm that specializes in gambling. The new version of their proposal would kick open the doors to more private gambling palaces across the state.

Gaming: East Multnomah County casino initiative gaining signatures at a fast clip - Backers of a proposed casino at the old greyhound track in Wood Village are collecting signatures at a fast rate and look like they have a good chance of making the November ballot. By the end of April, they reported that their paid canvassers had collected more than 112,000 signatures for the constitutional measure and nearly 105,000 for the statutory measure.

Gaming: United Auburn Indian tribe makes agreement with online gaming company - The United Auburn Indian Community, owners of Thunder Valley Casino, entered into a 10-year agreement with London-based Digital Entertainment PLC, the world’s largest listed online gaming company. The tribe doesn’t feature online gaming of any kind, but it took the step to forge this partnership should California law be changed to allow online gaming, said Doug Elmets, spokesman for the tribe. "Our belief is it that it is a matter of 'when' not 'if' online gaming becomes legal, and the UAIC wants to have a premiere partner when it comes to pass," Elmets said.

Gaming: Observers Optimistic Gun Lake Case Will Be Decided on a Narrow Legal Question - When the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Salazar v. Patchak on April 24, tribal advocates and Indian legal observers tried to face down their worst fears, having watched the high court hand down seven major rulings against tribal interests since Chief Justice John Roberts took the helm in September 2005. The court will likely announce their decision in June.

Gaming: Fife casino dealer claims employer forced her to gamble - A former poker dealer at Freddie's Club Casino in Fife is suing her old employer, claiming she was forced to gamble her own money on her own hours in order to keep the poker tables busy and attract more customers.

April 2012

Gaming: Casino backers bet on a new vote - Backers of a huge private casino at the former greyhound racetrack east of Portland are shooting for another statewide vote, this time with sweeteners designed to woo voters who rejected their 2010 ballot initiative.

Gaming: Private casino backers want state vote - Backers of a huge private casino at the former greyhound racetrack east of Portland are shooting for another statewide vote, this time with sweeteners designed to woo voters who rejected their 2010 ballot initiative. Matt Rossman and Bruce Studer, two Lake Oswego businessmen who have been seeking an exclusive right to build the state's lone private casino, are proposing a state constitutional amendment to allow unlimited private casinos, so long as each project wins voter approval and is more than 60 miles from tribal casinos.

Gaming: Is Oregon ready to double-down on another casino vote? - Two Lake Oswego businessmen who failed in 2010 said they will go back to voters this fall with a new plan that calls for an unlimited number of casinos. They said Oregon should go after the casino revenue and the jobs that follow before the Cowlitz Indian Tribe opens the Portland metro area's first casino in La Center, Wash. Comment: Yes, because the uberlords of Vancouver don't want a tribal casino bringing revenue and jobs to Clark County.

Gaming: Attack of the Indian-Gaming Fighter, and How the Blowback Against Tribal Gaming Has Evolved - Since IGRA, the real players in the Indian gaming opposition field have been members of Congress. ... Now there are legislators like Feinstein who say they support tribal sovereignty, but who want to limit gaming for some tribes. It is hard to determine the method in the madness of these new voices. What is most striking is that it is no longer outsiders who seem to have the most power in framing attacks on Indian gaming. That power now lies, ironically, with the 30 or so wealthy and well-connected tribes that are playing hardball behind the scenes, lobbying legislators to get the best outcomes for their casino deals, including limiting competition from nearby tribes. Comment: Like the Grand Ronde.

March 2012

Gaming: LEED Casino Gambles On Embracing Sustainability - From their round-the-clock flashing lights to their all-you-can-eat (or throw away) buffets, casinos aren’t exactly known as paragons of green virtue. But as LEED certification now seems to have penetrated to the outer reaches of the known universe, it was only a matter of time until we had a LEED-certified casino, and here it is: Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Ill., the newest casino in the Chicagoland area, has been awarded green certification at the Gold level by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Gaming: Ex-congressman suggests tribes work together - A former California congressman says the Mashpee Wampanoag have virtually no chance of securing the right to run a sovereign tribal casino in Southeastern Massachusetts and instead is urging that several tribes unite to run a commercial casino. Richard Pombo of California has written a letter to Gov. Deval Patrick suggesting that, for a variety of reasons, any federally recognized tribe "will simply be unable to meet the requirements for a (federally sanctioned Indian) casino at any time in the foreseeable future.

Gaming: Indian casinos still growing despite economy - In the Indian Gaming Industry Report released today, Alan Meister, an economist with the international economic consulting firm of Nathan Associates Inc., writes that year-over-year revenues were up a little more than 1 percent at the nation's Indian casinos in 2010. During that same period, revenues were down .1 percent at commercial casinos nationwide, Meister reported.

February 2012

Gaming: Casinos' anti-compulsive bet programs vary widely - Arnie Wexler travels the country giving training sessions to casino employees on how to spot potential compulsive gamblers and what to do if they encounter any. The casino industry has two main motivations in dealing with problem gamblers, said Alan Feldman, a vice president at MGM Resorts International, and chairman of the National Center for Responsible Gaming. "There is a strong belief among many of the casino executives that there is a moral obligation to do this," he said. "But there's also a strong business reason: Problem gamblers make for lousy customers. By their very nature, they will turn into bad debt.

Gaming: True no-limit poker eludes Washington - The Pacific Northwest has more than 20 poker rooms, but what you may not know is Washington has a uniform gambling law that applies to all casino wagering, including poker: No single bet can exceed $500.

Gaming: Casinos passing up sizeable portion of market - While the state doesn’t tax tribal casinos, the incidental spending by patrons injects billions of dollars into the surrounding economies. A new gambler niche would add to those interests.

Gaming: Saturation not a concern, gambling proponents say - Two months after the Oak Tree Casino opened, rumors continue to swirl about as many as three more cardrooms going live in Woodland later this year, city officials said. Such developments, if they occurred, would give Woodland as many cardrooms as La Center -- four. The prospect of eight cardrooms fewer than 10 miles apart -- not to mention a proposed tribal casino off Interstate 5 in La Center -- has some observers questioning when more gambling outlets would result in dwindling returns for the cities they call home.

Gaming: Panel Set For Senate Hearing On Online Poker and Gaming - The United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs has announced the panel of witnesses scheduled to testify at the upcoming February 9 hearing entitled by Senate lawmakers as an "Oversight Hearing on the U.S. Department of Justice Opinion on Internet Gaming: What’s at Stake for Tribes."

Gaming: Stakes raised for cities as new cardroom opens - Woodland, a city known for its freeway-stop business district and blue-collar workers, has now placed a bet that its new Oak Tree cardroom can take a $7.3 million bite out of the casino business in neighboring La Center. And the stakes will be even higher when the owners of Woodland’s new casino build a planned 15-table annex, already approved for the old Parr Lumber site behind the Oak Tree.

January 2012

Gaming: Casino Battle Royale and OPE Oil Sands - The two guys from Lake Oswego who want Oregonians to approve a giant casino in east Multnomah County are back again. Last week, Matt Rossman and Bruce Studer got approval to begin gathering signatures for a constitutional amendment that would allow for private casinos in Oregon.

Gaming: Washington's Tribal Economic Contribution Grows - Washington's tribal economic activity: Tribal governments paid $1.3 billion in wages and benefits in 2010 to 27,376 employees, 66% of them non-tribal members; purchased $2.4 billion in goods and services from local businesses near their enterprises and from the broader state economy. "We're proud of the contribution we are making on our reservations and to Washington's overall economy," said W. Ron Allen, chair of the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe and president of the Washington Indian Gaming Association.

Gaming: State lacks facts on gambling addiction; Industry has grown, including locally, since last study in 1999 - The state of Washington, as a whole, has taken steps to reduce gambling addiction in the past decade. Just how successful the state has been is difficult to say, however; no recent study exists on the problem, even as gambling has mushroomed into a $2.5-billion industry. The Cowlitz Indian Tribe has proposed paying no less than $50,000 annually, once its casino opens in La Center, toward problem gaming programs designated by Clark County. There is no timeline for when the casino would open.

December 2011

Gaming: In Foxborough, a Competing Casino Gets a 'No' From Selectmen - A casino proposal that could potentially compete with one in Milford has a new obstacle. Selectmen in that town voted 3-2 to refuse to negotiate with a developer who wants to build a casino near Gillette Stadium.

Gaming: Web gambling gets boost from Obama administration - The Obama administration cleared the way for states to legalize Internet poker and certain other online betting in a switch that may help them reap billions in tax revenue and spur web-based gambling.

Gaming: Barriers to Tribal Gaming Expansion Remain High - The DOI has potentially established an administrative fix to a problem created by the Supreme Court's 2009 Carcieri decision. The agency's interpretation of the ruling led it to take land into trust for the benefit of Oregon's Cowlitz Tribe, which was not federally recognized until 2000.

Gaming: The Columbian gives a mild "jeer" for the new Oak Tree Casino, opening Saturday in Woodland - "The cardroom will offer several types of games and is likely to bring a large volume of additional business to the existing restaurant where it will be housed. The city stands to collect some useful tax revenue, too."

Gaming: Woodland’s Oak Tree card room opens - Saturday’s opening culminated months of preparation, but some final details came down to the wire. The establishment received official confirmation of its state gambling license only a day earlier, said general manager and part owner Chuck McCormick.

Gaming: Effort To Establish Non-Tribal Casino Begins Again In Oregon - Two Oregon businessmen are trying once again to get voters to approve the state's first non-tribal casino. It will be the fourth attempt, and once again the casino petition effort is drawing heat from the Grand Ronde tribe, which has a gaming center about 70 miles southwest of Portland.

Gaming: Woodland casino set to open - The Oak Tree Restaurant in Woodland will open its first cardroom to the public Saturday morning. Despite that The Columbian newspaper, owned by Scott Campbell, mounted an ongoing campaign against the proposed Cowlitz Tribal Casino and devoted a lot of ink in opposition, from the outset it briefly expressed only mild disapproval for the Woodland non-Indian casino. Not that we would ever suggest that the newspaper's publisher is racist. There must be a perfectly reasonable explanation for the apparent hypocrisy.

Gaming: Woodland's Oak Tree ready to deal in cardrooms - The cardroom, which will be called Oak Tree Casino, will be spacious and upscale, making it unique from other area cardrooms.

Gaming: Expanding Washington gambling to nontribal casinos - Revenues would be less than projected by gambling proponents, while proceeds from tribal government gaming go to pay for essential government services.

Gaming: Open up electronic gambling beyond tribal casinos to generate more state revenue - Under a Washington state compact, only tribal gambling operations can provide electronic gambling. Guest columnist Chris Kealy suggests the Legislature expand that authority to nontribal cardrooms, which would generate taxes to help the state's budget crisis.

Gaming: Casino proponents back for another try - Backers of an attempt to create the state’s first non-tribal casino and entertainment complex, which was rejected by Oregon voters in November 2010, may try their luck again at the next election.

Gaming: Coveting tribes' gains; looking busy in Olympia; Everett probers - Republican trial balloon a slap at the Democratic-leaning tribes.

Gaming: GOP sees expanded gambling as state budget solution - Republicans say they have an alternative to Democrat-proposed tax increases to help balance the Washington state budget. They want to let nontribal casinos offer the same slot machines as tribal casinos, with the state getting a piece of the revenue.

Gaming: Casino-rich tribes might be shrewd to share more

Gaming: Precarious Profits: Adding slot machines at cardrooms is the wrong way to solve budget problems

November 2011

Gaming: PPA Supports Online Poker for Indian Tribes

Gaming: Internet Gaming’s Impact on Tribes to be Closely Studied

Gaming: Native American tribes demand equal footing, sovereignty if Internet gambling allowed in US

Gaming: Hearing airs tribes' issues with Internet gambling

Gaming: State tax ideas pop up: Sales tax increase, expansion of slot machines among them

October 2011

Woodland restaurant seeks cardroom permit

Woodland restaurant seeks cardroom permit

Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption From America's Most Notorious Lobbyist [Hardcover]: Jack Abramoff is synonymous with Washington scandal, but his memoir is engrossing, informative, smart, funny and charming. Abramoff on the front pages could not be further from the Jack Abramoff who's ready to tell his honest and compelling story.

Copyright © 2011 Rod Van Mechelen; all rights reserved.

Rod Van Mechelen, Publisher & Editor, Cowlitz Country News

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