Non-tribal casino idea loses steam

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

WOOD VILLAGE The backers of a $500 million non-tribal casino proposed for the former dog-racing park in Wood Village appear to have given up on winning voter approval in 2008.

The Lake Oswego-based supporters of the deal, Bruce Studer and Matt Rossman, have filed seven separate ballot initiatives with the Secretary of State’s office, but as of April 16, none had been approved for circulation.  Their plan calls for a resort hotel, a multiplex theater and 3,500 video gambling terminals. They argue the casino would create 3,000 permanent jobs and provide more than $200 million in annual property and state taxes.

Commercial casinos were banned with the introduction of the state lottery in 1984. The ban excludes casinos owned by the state’s nine recognized tribes.

Early statements from Studer and Rossman claimed “backing from major investment and gaming interests,” but the identities of the would-be investors have remained a mystery. Rumors that Donald Trump was lurking behind the scenes turned out to be, alas, unfounded.



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