by: TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT - New state Lottery rules could impact the concentration of video poker machines, like those in Jantzen Beach's 'Lottery Row.'The Oregon State Lottery will reduce the number of retailers hosting state video lottery terminals in the “Lottery Row” retail center in Jantzen Beach, starting in July 2015.

The Oregon State Lottery Commission approved a new regulation Friday allowing no more than half the retail establishments in a strip retail center to host state video lottery machines. The rule takes place when the state agency renews its master contract with lottery retailers, effective mid-2015.

The regulation, proposed by Lottery Director Larry Niswender, was designed to address community outrage about the mini-casino atmosphere that prevails at a strip center across the street from Jantzen Beach mall, where all 12 retailers offer six video lottery terminals apiece.

Oregon Restaurant Services Inc., which owns six of the video lottery sites, has purchased a new site a few blocks away, at a former Zupan’s grocery store. That site could enable the company to shift some of its Jantzen Beach outlets to avoid losing their right to host state-owned gambling terminals in 2015.

In addition to limited the concentration of video lottery sites at strip centers, the new regulation requires new applicants for the gaming devices to be in business for 90 days prior to applying to host the terminals.

“The commissioners thoughtfully considered the concerns of all parties including those of retailers, the Portland Police Bureau, area legislators, and local community members,” Niswender said. “Adoption of these rules should allow those businesses that want to continue to be retailers to have clear guidance. The Lottery Commission actions are intended to keep the lottery on a sustainable path and with continued strong public support."

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