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Oregon Racetrack to Axe 226 Employees if Gaming Machines Are No-Go

Posted on: January 12, 2022, 01:53h. 

Past current on: January 12, 2022, 02:53h.

An Oregon racetrack owned by Dutch Bros espresso billionaire Travis Boersma will lay off 226 workers subsequent month. That’s except if the condition racing commission greenlights its software for 225 historic horse-racing machines.

Travis Boersma
Dutch Bros co-founder Travis Boersma suggests he would like to help save racing at Grants Move, but is jogging out of persistence with Oregon authorities over his gaming machine software. (Impression: Dutch Bros)

The ultimatum, to start with claimed by Willamette Week, comes as an alliance of nine Oregon tribal operators proceeds to pressurize the legislature to put gambling expansion on maintain. These include things like the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, which operates the 7 Feathers On line casino Resort, 40 miles north of Grants Pass.

The tribes are contacting for a thorough evaluate of the state’s gambling landscape, noting it has been a quarter-century given that the last a single.

They keep exclusivity on slots and casino gaming underneath the terms of their compacts with the state. But they truly feel this proper is remaining threatened by the advancement of historic horse-racing devices, as effectively as cell betting, which has been available by means of the Oregon Lottery given that 2019.

A bill that would have recognized a task power to study the upcoming of gambling in the condition stalled in the legislature last 12 months.

Traveling Lark on Keep

Next the demise of Portland Meadows in 2019, Grants Move is now the only professional racetrack remaining in Oregon.

Boersma is itching to open up the Traveling Lark, a dining, drinking, and gambling establishment adjacent to the keep track of that he claims will renovate Grants Move into an “epicenter of worldwide racing.”

But first, he desires people gambling devices.

In a notice to point out authorities seen by Willamette Week, the observe explained it had envisioned a determination final month from the racing fee. But it just lately figured out it initial requirements indication-off from the Oregon Office of Justice, which is keeping up the course of action.

We have dotted every ‘i,’ we have crossed every ‘t’ — we have had various discussions with tribe, with point out and political figures, soup-to-nuts, major-to-base in excess of the class of the final 3 years and there has not at the time been the mention, the idea that we would not be ready to open our doorways,” Boersma explained to area ABC affiliate KDRV.

“I had a conversation with [employees] final week and I experienced to enable them know what result in and influence are right here, and it is catastrophic for persons and their life,” he included.

Tech Outpacing Regulation 

Historic horse racing machines allow players to bet on replays of previous races with the identities of the races obscured. They have been legal in Oregon because 2012, but only at racetracks. That’s because they broadly use the pari-mutuel betting system permitted at racetracks.

The tribes dispute this. In a letter past October to the state’s Democratic governor, Kate Brown, they complained the latest era of machines experienced “evolved beyond the pari-mutuel method to the issue where they are “nothing other than slot equipment, from a participant standpoint.”

“The state’s regulatory framework has not evolved to reflect new know-how or its impacts on the community,” the tribes wrote. “We are at a critical second where by the point out is about to approve the major enlargement of point out-controlled gambling in many years without general public or legislative enter.”