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Politics & Government

Horse-racing terminals violate Oregon constitution, concludes DOJ

Dutch Bros IPO
Photo courtesy Dutch Bros
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Dutch Bros Chairman and Co-Founder Travis Boersma rings the first trade bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Sept. 15.

Plans to build a gambling house with horse-racing terminals in Grants Pass were effectively killed Friday afternoon by an opinion from the Oregon Department of Justice.

The question was whether it was legal under Oregon’s constitution to operate a facility with 225 horse-racing terminals, which are similar to slot machines that allow participants to bet on old horse races. The answer from Oregon’s attorneys: “No.”

“The planned concentration of 225 electronic gaming machines offering games of chance constitutes a casino,” the opinion reads.

It concludes that it would therefore violate the state’s constitutional prohibition of casinos.

The advisory opinion was presented privately to the Oregon Racing Commission Tuesday, then published publicly on the justice department’s website Friday afternoon.

Dutch Bros co-founder Travis Boersma has poured millions of dollars into the facility called the Flying Lark, where he planned to install the “historic horse-racing” terminals where participants bet on old horse races. The entertainment venue boasted that it would have brought more than 150 jobs to Josephine County.

Copyright 2022 Oregon Public Broadcasting