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Court: ‘Legality of Three Rivers Casino in Florence can be challenged'

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June 18, 2009

FLORENCE, OR - The Three Rivers Casino suffered a legal blow Thursday, when the state Supreme Court ruled that an anti-gambling group can challenge the legal existence of the casino. The group, People Against a Casino Town, has been fighting for years to close the casino.

The Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Umpqua, and Siuslaw opened the Three Rivers Casino five years ago after signing a gaming compact with the governor at that time. The anti-casino group claims the compact was signed illegally since the state constitution states that casinos are illegal in Oregon. Despite the constitutional ban, Oregon governors have signed compacts with other tribes in the past that allowed them to build casinos.

The lawyer for the anti-casino group, Kelly Clark, said "I don't know the endgame. If we win, it means the casino is operating illegally. What happens next is up to the United States attorney, as to how they would enforce the law."

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