Mystic lake casino buffet

Grants Pass Downs, Oregon’s Final Racetrack Cancels 2022 Meet

Grants Pass Downs, Oregon’s Final Racetrack Cancels 2022 Meet

Posted on: April 13, 2022, 04:57h.&nbsp

Last updated on: April 13, 2022, 05:27h.

Grants Pass Downs, Oregon’s last surviving industrial thoroughbred racetrack, has canceled its race meet for 2022.

Grants Pass Downs
Racing at Grants Pass Downs has been canceled for 2022 soon after Oregon’s governor pressurized regulators to torpedo its application for HHR machines. (Image: New York Times)

The track cited a recent decision by the state racing regulator to deny its application for 225 historical horse racing (HHR) machines at its new entertainment center, the Flying Lark.

Dutch Bros Coffee magnate and nearby boy Travis Boersma acquired Grants Pass Downs in 2019. He hoped to fund the upkeep of the track and finance race purses with income from the adjacent Flying Lark, envisaged as a dining, drinking, and gambling establishment.

But it wasn’t to be. The Oregon Racing Commission (ORC) reluctantly nixed the application in February, leaving itself with precious small racing to regulate.

Gov. Brown Stress

HHR machines let gamblers bet on replays of previous races with the identities of these races obscured. They have been legal at Oregon racetracks since 2012. That’s&nbspbecause they broadly use the pari-mutuel betting program.

But earlier this year, the Oregon DOJ&nbspissued an opinion&nbspthat HHR machines have been more like slots and lottery games than the pari-mutuel horse race betting permitted at racetracks.

The agency stated than no much more 75 HHRs should be permitted at any 1 venue. Otherwise, it would violate the state ban on casinos. Presently, only Native American tribes are permitted to offer you casino gaming in Oregon beneath the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

In a letter dated February 16, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) told the ORC board it would be more than their jobs were worth to vote against “any action inconsistent with the law, as interpreted&nbspby the Oregon Division of Justice.”

“As a result of the Oregon Racing Commission’s vote to deny an operating license to The Flying Lark, Grants Pass Downs has lost its financial engine,” said Travis Boersma in a statement this week.

“While we remained hopeful we would be capable to host a viable race meet, the uncertainty here and across the business has resulted in a drastic reduction of race horses at Grants Pass Downs,” he added. “At this point, it is clear running the meet isn’t feasible.”

Job Losses

This is a far cry from Boersma’s stated ambition of transforming his hometown into a national epicenter of racing. The cancellation of the 2022 calendar will lead to the loss of about 50 jobs. He has already stated he will have to let far more than 200 workers go at the Flying Lark.

Boersma blamed the “state and its leadership’s lack of understanding of, and appreciation for, the equine sector and the demands of rural Oregon” for the track’s predicament. He has hinted that he could pursue the matter via the courts.

Gov. Brown’s hand might have been forced by a coalition of regional tribes that demanded she rigorously examine Boersma’s plans, arguing they would “fundamentally alter gambling in the state to the detriment of tribal casinos.”

Associated News Articles

Comments Off on Grants Pass Downs, Oregon’s Final Racetrack Cancels 2022 Meet