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In the vernacular of Las Vegas, the odds are absolute that Oregon voters will have a second opportunity to defeat measures that would allow construction of a non-tribal casino in Wood Village.

That’s thanks to the fact that casino backers Matt Rossman and Bruce Studer of Lake Oswego have been successful in qualifying two measures for the November ballot: Measure 82, which would amend the state Constitution to allow non-tribal casinos in Oregon (including at the site of the former greyhound track in Wood Village); and the second, Measure 83, would set rules limiting non-tribal casinos to sites that are more than 60 miles from a tribal casino.

Sticking with the Las Vegas metaphor, it’s a long shot that either of these measures will be well received. The last time these guys put their casino plans before Oregonians, voters in the 2010 general election soundly rejected their Measure 75 by a 2-1 margin.

That measure would have allowed private casinos in Multnomah County with a few restrictions. The proposal’s companion measure, which would have allowed private casinos outside reservation land (something barred by the state constitution), failed to make the ballot, leaving supporters with half a proposal on the table.

Dozens of business groups, civic organizations and tribal casino backers lined up against 2010’s Measure 75, saying it would harm local neighborhoods, the state budget and our children.

One of the measure’s backers, Clairvest Group of Toronto, is a nearly $1 billion equity firm looking for major investments in small to mid-sized casino companies. Clairvest shelled out tens of thousands of dollars in 2010 supporting Measure 75.

On November’s ballot, Measures 82 and 83 are already gathering support and opposition. The It’s Still A Bad Idea Committee formed in July to fight the measures. A Yes on 82 & 83 Committee also is gearing up to raise money to pass the proposals.

Two years ago, Oregonians wisely opposed the idea allowing their state to go the direction of Nevada. That’s for good reason.

Oregon already is in the gambling business (Oregon Lottery), which brings millions of dollars into the state budget each year. Private casinos would only dilute where gambling dollars are spent, reducing the revenue that flows to state government.

Of course, casino backers counter that they’ll dedicate a portion of their revenue for schools, but that’s simply a marketing tactic used to lure voters into a false sense of security, believing this measure makes solid financial sense for the state budget.

It’s more likely this is a bait-and-switch that will — in the long run — rob schools of even more dollars.

Oregonians soundly defeated this effort once before. We have no reason to believe voters have changed their minds. These measures have all the markings of a waste of time, money and effort on a misguided long shot.

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