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Oregon Tribal Leaders Consider Alcohol at Casino

3 October 2005

PENDLETON, Oregon – As reported by the Oregonian: "It soon may be possible to wrap up a game of poker or blackjack by bellying up to the bar for a drink at the Wildhorse Resort and Casino -- an unprecedented shift on the dry Umatilla Indian Reservation.

"The reservation's governing board of trustees today will consider legalizing alcohol consumption at the casino.

"Tribal members backed alcohol sales at Wildhorse in a 229-218 advisory vote last month. The proposal requires authorization by the trustees and calls for liquor sales only at the casino and nowhere else on the 174,000-acre reservation.

"It's long been a hot-button issue for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation's members. Opponents say alcoholism is killing tribal people and want to preserve the reservation's dry status.

"But others worry that mounting competition will siphon revenue from the casino if the alcohol ban continues…"

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