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Pollster Says Portland Casino Plan Looks Like Political Long Shot

19 January 2005

PORTLAND, Oregon – As reported by the Oregonian: "A proposal to build the state's first nontribal casino in the Portland area would have to clear huge political hurdles that cast doubt on the project's future, gambling industry observers say.

"Two Lake Oswego entrepreneurs revealed last week that they plan to seek voter approval of a massive casino and entertainment complex that ultimately would include as many as 3,500 electronic gambling terminals.

"Investment adviser Bruce Studer and attorney Matthew Rossman said they have financial backing from major gambling and investment interests and proposed to give the state 25 percent of the gambling proceeds. They claim their polling shows strong public support for the idea.

"But Bob Moore, a Portland pollster, said several surveys he has conducted in Oregon and other states for tribal and commercial gambling interests show voters are uniformly leery about expanding gambling.

"That's borne out by election results last year, when voters defeated proposals to expand gambling in five of the seven states where they appeared on the ballot

"…'We're finding in Oregon, like everywhere else, that the status quo is OK, but expansion is a no-no,' Moore said. "I find it hard to believe they'd find majority support for what they're doing."

"Public support is crucial because such a casino project could become reality only if voters agree to amend the state constitution to remove the ban on casinos…"

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