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Governor Kate Brown Not Bothered by Indian Casino Gambling Anymore?

The Governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, seems to be no longer bothered that much by possible casino expansion for local Indian Tribal nations.

Back in April 2016, she opposed the idea of the Coquille Tribe to open a small casino in Oregon, saying that it was important for the state to stick to its decision regarding the number of casinos on its territory. At the time, she explained that using the bowling alley in Medford to offer poker and bingo machines, as the Coquille Tribe wanted to do, could have a negative impact on local communities.

As Ms. Brown shared in a latter at the time, the state should not permit more casinos to be established, as such a step could lead to significant efforts for gambling expansion across the state which could be detrimental for the wider public well-being.

Now, more than two years later, the Governor of Oregon does not seem much bothered by possible casino expansion anymore. Previously, an agreement was reached between the Cow Creek Tribe and Ms. Brown’s administration, with the Indian nation making a contribution of no less than US$115,000 into the Governor’s election campaign. Records say that there could be gambling expansion in Oregon as a kind of a joint venture between the tribe and the state, under the above-mentioned agreement.

Records show that the Cow Creek Tribe has made a number of contributions ranging from US$2,500 to US$10,000 to Ms. Brown’s campaigns since August 2008. These contributions have significantly increased to US$85,000 since Ms. Brown became Governor in 2015. Reportedly, most of the money came in three major contributions amounting to US$25,000 each.

Oregon Lottery Considering Possible Gambling Expansion

As revealed by lottery officials, the agreement in question allows state gambling operations to be established in an I-5 truck stop across the highway from Seven Feathers.

As a result, Governor Brown was blamed for being hypocritical. Scott Crowell, a Washington state lawyer specializing in Indian gambling issues, said that there was no logic at all in the Governor saying she was against gambling expansion in Oregon and then promote gambling through the Cow Creek Tribe agreement.

Matthew Shelby, a spokesman for the lottery told The Washington Times that the Oregon Lottery is being engaged with determining whether it was reasonable for the state to offer jackpot games, scratch tickets and keno at a local travel center which has been operated by the Cow Creek Tribe. As explained by Mr. Shelby, the profitability of such a decision is still being explored. Furthermore, the Oregon Lottery’s spokesman revealed that the state is considering a possible partnership with the Cow Creek Tribe to establish a kind of sportsbook joint venture.

The Coquille Tribe has always expressed its astonishment with the actions of the Oregon Governor’s administration. The Coquille Indian Tribal Council’s chair Ms. Brenda Meade shared that the agreement with the Cow Creek Tribe only came as another example of the Governor’s hypocrisy when it comes to tribal gaming, as Ms. Brown has been “preaching” against casino expansion but at the same time her administration has been engaged with activities which would increase the money flow to the Oregon Lottery and the Indian Tribe which the state’s Governor has been blamed to be favoring, turning Indian gambling concerns into political issues.