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November 29, 2007

SALEM, OR - Two Lake Oswego residents, Bruce Studer and Matt Rossman, want voter approval to build a commercial casino complex in Wood Village near Gresham. The location will be the former Multnomah Kennel Club at 223rd Avenue.

They propose a 175,000-square-foot resort casino would include a hotel, restaurants, and a theater. It would be bigger than the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and create 3,000 jobs. The project design and financial backers will be disclosed next month.

The two proponents of this plan have filed three initiatives with the secretary of state on November 21st for inclusion on the November 2008 ballot. These are initiatives 140, 141, and 142. If the petitions are approved by the secretary, a signature drive can begin to secure the minimum number of required signatures before early July.

To get an initiative on the ballot to change state law requires 6 percent of the 2006 total vote for governor, or 82,769 signatures. To get a constitutional amendment on the ballot requires 8 percent, or 110,358 signatures.

Voter approval also requires a separate approval by a majority of Wood Village voters.

Oregon has nine casinos, which are all owned by Indian tribes - Coquille, Siletz, Grande Ronde and Klamath. These tribes have traditionally opposed and fought all efforts for commercial casinos.

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