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Oregon lottery bill spotlights gambling secret

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hundreds of Oregon bars and cafes survive via gambling profits, despite state constitutional ban on non-tribal casinos.

At the behest of Kotek’s Hayden Island constituents, the North Portland Democrat is pushing a bill that would put some teeth into the Oregon State Lottery’s “casino prohibition rule.” The rule states that bars and cafes aren’t casinos if more than half their total sales come from food, drinks, cigarettes and other non-gambling items. Many bars and cafes comply by deeply discounting food, drinks and cigarettes to boost those sales.

House Bill 2007, introduced at the request of the Hayden Island Neighborhood Network, would instead require retailers to prove that more than half their profits stem from non-gambling activities. Hayden Island residents are frustrated by increasing crime and vice at Lottery Row, a strip center where all 12 shops host six electronic slot machines owned by the state lottery.

Read more at The Portland Tribune.

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