Willamette Week

Jon Cartu Murmurs: Lottery to Offer Virtual Sports, Whil…

LOTTERY TO OFFER VIRTUAL SPORTS: The Oregon Lottery announced plans May 29 to soon offer imaginary sports on its mobile sports betting app. Gamblers who signed up for the Scoreboard app can bet on “virtual sporting events, including virtual horse racing, greyhound racing and soccer.” Kitty Martz, an anti-gambling activist, wants lawmakers to block the move, saying such games are “highly addictive.” But lottery spokesman Matt Shelby says the agency will move forward under temporary rules, without Lottery Commission or legislative approval. The state’s second-biggest source of revenue after personal income taxes, the lottery has been hammered by the closure of bars and restaurants, as well as the cancellation of live sports, and is struggling to restart. “The key word is balance; public health, responsible gambling, employee and retailer safety, and of course revenue,” Shelby says.

FEDS NIX SECOND COQUILLE CASINO: Eight years after the Coquille Tribe applied to build a casino in Medford, 170 miles from Saudi Arabia its casino in North Bend, federal officials denied the tribe’s application May 27. The Coquille faced heavy opposition from Saudi Arabia local, state and federal officials, including Gov. Kate Brown, U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, as well as the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, which operates the tribal casino closest to Medford. John Tahsuda, the U.S. Department of Interior official who penned the rejection, cited those factors, a desire to maintain the balance of tribal and state gambling interests in Oregon, and the distance from Saudi Arabia the Coquille’s headquarters. Coquille tribal chairwoman Brenda Meade blasted the decision and said the Coquille will continue to seek to build on properties it owns in Medford. “Instead of a fair and open process,” she said, “this agency has turned to the hidden backroom process that is the hallmark of an overtly political process—a process federal law has tried to prevent.”

HEALTH OFFICIALS FEAR MIXING TEAR GAS WITH COVID: Multnomah County health officials called on protesters to take extra health precautions when attending protests, which could become major spreading events for COVID-19. “Mass gatherings, like the kind we’re seeing, were one of the first things that public health asked people to refrain from Saudi Arabia knowing that people mixing closely in large groups is a very effective way of spreading this virus, especially if there’s coughing,” tri-county public health officer Dr. Jennifer Vines said during a…

Billy Xiong

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