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Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's got everything

We got an amazing piece of election porn in the snail mail yesterday from the corporations that want to build a big casino complex out at the old Multnomah dog track. It was a 12-by-11 mailer sheet, with another 24-by-11 stapled inside, both two-sided, full color, extremely slick:

Oh, it has the full load of malarkey: jobs, "for the children," and of course, the throw-in for every scoundrel's pitch these days:

It just screams, "You are so stupid!"

Printed by a union shop, of course -- and on recycled paper, how about that?

Here's part of the big overview:

Ya gotta love those little crackerbox houses in the back. That must be where the 2,000 jobholders are going to live.

There are so many opportunities to have "exciting" gambling "fun" nowadays. Do we really need more? Let the Indians keep the money they're getting now, or if we really must have a casino in the area, let's get the state involved and eliminate the private profit. And for Pete's sake, put it in Lloyd Center and let's get the inner city economy going with it. In 20 years, we might even get to where Reno was 30 years ago. Whoopee!

"Sustainable. Like Oregon." Now, that's a classic.

Comments (36)

They have also been running lots of ads on television. Is this something that will be on a ballot? Didn't the casino idea for the former dog track get voted down once before?

That really is a horrible mailer.

If there are no government subsidies, I say give it to them. I know they're out to make a huge profit - that's the goal of every other business as well. We can use the jobs.

I do wonder what sort of security force they're going to have to keep on hand to deal with the East Portland/Gresham population.

I think you should try scratching off the little photos on the front.

I know there is support for this, but I still think it's a bad idea. Police agencies have no box to mark on the crime report for "gambling related". There is no way to know how all the available gambling sites will negatively affect a community. Saying that gamblers will just go somewhere else is hogwash. More availablilty means more money out of pocket for those with a problem. Gamblers are there looking for an easy way out of their financial problems. Do we really need to keep paying bills for services at the expense of those who are the least able to afford the loss? We have finally hit bottom.

I saw this flyer as well. I wonder what these folks think about them co-opting their name?

And the brag about $35K family wage jobs? Classic.

Those cracker box houses are the "affordable housing" for the security guards, who will work minimum wage, on shift, for 32 hours a week so they will not be eligible for any benefits.
Too bad the "1000s of jobs" will be low paying ones.

The advertising makes you think it's a new shopping center or restaurant. They kind of downplay the “It’s a casino at the old Greyhound track in East County". These people are real snakes. Just another way to suck money out of families that can't afford it.

We received the same flyer. In all of the many glossy pages, there was a grand total of ONE small picture showing people doing what this is about: Gambling.

How did gambling get to be the "industry that supports education"?
I know...but it is just SO pathetic!

Please stop calling it gambling. That sounds so sleazy. It's called gaming now. Didn't you read the flyer?

What they don't tell you is that the Canada-based outfit that would run "The Grange" would have a 12 year license to run the place.

State audits would be limited by law. And even if the audit revealed shenanigans, the license cannot be yanked until the 12 years are over.

So ... if it goes through, be prepared for 12 years of WWeek stories on how Oregon got suckered by a bunch of Toronto slicksters.

Since it looks to be a complete resort, why not build the resort MINUS the casino to show they are actually serious about building this? Then ask for the casino later?

You should come out and visit "The Grange" office. Right between Kohl's and Fred Meyer directly behind where The Grange won't be built (hopefully). It has all the pictures from the flyer blown up to poster size, a meeting table, a flat screen TV and lots of seats to watch whatever they happen to be showing.
By the way, all the money it would supposedly bring in, as well as the jobs, are almost all money and jobs that will be lost from nearby retailers. See for yourself:

I am personally not a big gambler. I go to the Indian casinos about twice a year. I hate the traffic choked drive to Grand Ronde and Lincoln City is a very long ride too. I would welcome a casino closer to Portland. I wish the state would allow a consortium of Indian tribes to build and operate a big one with a hotel next to the convention center. That would be a win-win for everyone. Since that is never going to happen, I am going to vote for the private casino to be built in Troutdale. I think the plusses outweigh the minuses. If it gets built, maybe I will go there three or four times a year.

What's better, a $10/hr job or no job at all? I'm all for high paying jobs, but not everyone has skills worth what most of you consider a 'family wage'. I'd rather eat Top Ramen than starve...

Gamble! It's for the children!

Is this really about creating jobs? Get real.

The Casino has one thing right though.."There's one born every minute".

Follow the "big" money!

Well Joe,
You are correct not everyone has the skils for a family wage job.
However if we had real educational system that provided training for trade jobs like plumbers, electricians, carpenters, machinists, welders, mechanics, and other employable trades many more people would have family wage jobs that could not be out-sourced.
However the powers that be prefer an ignorant and desperate population, dependent on gambling for entertainment, and for so called jobs that do not even provide for the minimum for a decent life.

On principle I don't like relying on gambling to support our state programs, most notably schools. Gambling takes money from lower income people and addicts and, in this case, sends it to Canada. Our reliance on the lottery is an admission that we can't rely on economic growth.

I think letting the tribes run casinos far from most population centers in order to better their lot is a fair compromise.

But however you vote, understand that this is first, foremost, and at the end of the day, a casino project. It has a bunch of bells and whistles added to it to convince voters otherwise.

I agree with you Portland Native. What I don't get is how people seem to think this is any worse than video poker which is in just about every bar in Portland. If people want to gamble, they're going to gamble. I'd rather take the jobs, taxes, revenue, and other benefits from this project than try to prevent a 'free' people from doing something they already have the option to do anyway, and closer to home at that.

What's the big deal about this? We already have video poker casinos scattered all over Oregon. My take on this is that the tribal casinos will still get theirs, and this will cater to folks who don't want to drive way out to Grand Ronde or Warm Springs.

Man, didn't you guys read that brochure that Jack posted? IT'S GOT PURLINS!!!! What more could you want?

"...the tribal casinos will still get theirs, and this will cater to folks who don't want to drive way out to Grand Ronde or Warm Springs"

That's why the tribal casinos will not still get theirs.

Having a casino in the city would be like having Uncle Clyde and Aunt Berta and their passel of kids and cousins come to stay for a week and never leave. Some things are best taken in doses and then left behind when you go home. Now if we could just export the nudie bars, porn shops, and hipsters....

I haven't heard their full pitch this time around,but the last time I was part of a group in East County that invited the Lake Oswego developers (money from Canada) to come talk about the project.

One thing that stood out----they would NOT be building the rest of the "Family Entertainment Complex" until the casino, built first, showed a "profit". So I asked the question...what will you consider a "profit"? How much money does the casino have to make quarterly or annually in order for you to actually build the rest of the pieces of your complex? Answer: We'll evaluate that as we go along. Next Question I asked: "So, is there a possibility you WON'T build the rest of the pieces?" Answer: THere's always a chance that the casino won't produce the revenue we anticipate or meet the profit margins we need to justify building the rest of the complex.

Again, haven't talked to them this time around, but even if they said they'd build the whole thing at once, I'm opposed for multiple reasons:

**A portion goes to schools...yippee. If Oregon wants to take gambling money for schools, why doesn't the state just open it's own casino and give 100% to schools?

**No good answer on impact on traveling (there is no I-84 exit directly on that road so either Wood Village or Fairview is going to get a lot of side traffic), crime and livability.

**We voted this down BEFORE. Statewide, as well as locally. Both measures failed by huge margins. Hence the BS media campaign this time.

**There are lots of mom-and-pop type gambling/smoke shops in East County. These will most likely be run out of business or lose a lot of business if this is built. So it's hurting locally owned businesses in order to fill the pockets of Lake O developers and out of state (and out of country) moneymen.

Yes, the old dog track is an eyesore. Yes, development there would be nice. But a casino is not the way to go. No. Just No.

This all boils down to one point for me, do we allow gambling in Oregon or not? Since the answer is obviously "Yes" than why not. If we want the answer to be "No" than we had best get busy shutting down the indian casinos, lotto, video poker, etc. This whole business about only indians and state sponsored games being allowed is pure BS.

As if they would let the common person live in a single family structure !
Condo Bunkers for everyone !

Ahhhh, the greyhound race track, brings back fond memories, I really DID have some good times there. Did I tell you about the time my sister stayed behind a fellow who was winning, winning, winning? She listen to which dog he was betting on and did likewise. She came to the track with $20 and left with over $400 - fun times. But this??? Not so impressed.

And for those crackerbox houses in the back. Well, if they are SFH, then they are in opposition to the high density that y'all are trying to achieve. But it's okay, they will fetch well over $300K each. If they are shared housing (read apartments or condos) they will fetch $100K for the 900 square foot places and up to $200K for the 1600 square foot places. And to think that in my new city I bought a 2400 square foot SFH for less than $119K, love it.

In the photos in that brochure, there's lots of wide open green space. Ummm...have you ever driven out there? You've got Lowes and Freddy's and Glisan on one side, and stuff built up on the back side. Where exactly are they going to put all the lawns? Or those houses that look like a row of mobile homes lined up in a parking lot?

"No good answer on impact on traveling (there is no I-84 exit directly on that road so either Wood Village or Fairview is going to get a lot of side traffic), crime and livability."

Ah, but see...after they con everyone into voting "yes" on both measures, then they'll roll out the big whine that they need one of those "public/private partnership" urban renewal districts set up to pay for needed "infrastructure" like another exit off I-84 and local streets realigned, etc.

I got this, too, and couldn't believe the grotesque amount of crap they're allegedly throwing in the mix for this casino. Even a farmers' market! I don't know, this enormous complex sounds like something I'd avoid like the plague, gambling or no.

Whether you support a casino or not, be glad that the prospective developers aren't using our tax money to send out this drivel (like the school district, library bond supporters, etc. in the name of "voter education").

Reading large agreement opposed to 'The Derange' is really inspiring. If only the internets would have been here earlier when Enron came to town. I swear to luck I was disappointed so many people eagerly surrendered to those raiders. Now
they're ba-aaack.

FAQ: It is obvious "we allow gambling in Oregon ... than why not" build The Derange?
ANSWER: That's unlikely to be a smart method to mark a ballot, to vote for, uh, whatsisname, what the heck, 'oh, why not?' Did you not read the reasons of a hundred comments saying why not? And here's one more reason why not The Derange: because Lars likes it, and votes for it (illicitly - it's not on his Washington State ballot, he'd like to mark yours).

2nd point: "if we had real educational system that provided training for trade jobs like plumbers, electricians, carpenters, machinists, welders, mechanics, and other employable trades many more people would have family wage jobs"
We do have that "educational system"

'Labor University' - Joint Apprentice Training, in many accessible locations.

But notice there is ample Supply of skilled workers in the trades occupations, and widespread unemployment is because of deliberate shutdown on the Demand side of deals. Meaning: Bankers of the 1% stopped lending (as they were ordered to stop) and dried up the money spigot ... in order to cause stress and starve out families earning wages outside the military-industrial complex. Isn't 'witless military warhawk' seeming more and more like a good career move for college-age cannon fodder, I mean kids?
And notice the US Govt actually intends to harm us, premeditated to oppress WTF, We The Folks. Whoever is not a gambling addict merely needs more exposure dosage.

No one should accept any promises from the "Yes on Casinos" campaign without gagging on a huge grain of salt.

1) No new spending.

As with all gambling, the vast majority of spending that will happen in this casino would've been spent somewhere else in our local economy. Most likely in ways that does far more for local jobs and income growth. This will be even more so for a urban casino as opposed to the rural casinos we have now on reservations.

2) "New" money for schools? Not so fast.

The Oregon gambling industry is tapped out. Oregon lottery games are not reaching their revenue projections. This casino will compete against other gambling opportunities in the region rather than attracting new spending.

Expect to see a dramatic shift in Oregon Lottery revenues to the casino. So the "free money" for schools? Chances are that it will come from losses in Oregon Lottery dollars.

3) Family wage jobs? But they promised.

The promised long term jobs that may be created by the casino are low wage service jobs. There is nothing that requires them to pay any particular wage or offer any benefits of any kind. It is a campaign promise and should be treated as a campaign promise.

4) I thought this was a family entertainment center? Nope.

Other than the casino, there is no commitment for any of the many bells and whistles you see in the videos and pr for this casino.

As the City of Wood Village notes - -

"The proponents for the casino have identified features they wish to include in the casino development. To date, these are not commitments, nor have any of the preliminary plans that are circulating been through a land use process to determine if they will be included in the site development that may eventually be approved."

The simple truth is that that aren't asking you to change the state constitution to build a water park, they want to build a casino.

So what is the bottom line on this?

Is this an idea worthy of changing the state constitution for?

Is it worth impacting the public funds from the lottery for?

Is it worth jeopardizing jobs existing casinos in poor, rural areas for?

Is it worth managing the potential crime and social impacts of gambling at urban casino?


I've been hearing the ads on the radio- who are they kidding? This is a horrible idea.

Just in...the real Grange is suing for name infringement.
Good for them!


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