- Travis Boersma wants to have machines to bet on old horse races at his new venue.
- Governor Kate Brown doesn’t want to intervene, but has requested to be consulted.
SALEM, Ore. – A legal petition was filed against the Oregon Racing Commission on Tuesday by backers of TMB Racing over delays for gambling machine licenses.
Horse Racing Terminals
The petition in question alleges that the delays could be rooted in tribal concerns regarding the potential gambling machines.
TMB Racing is claiming that the licenses have been delayed for months already, even though staff has recommended approval.
Travis Boersma, Dutch Bros. Coffee co-founder and TMB Racing backer, wants to have 225 ‘Historical Horse Racing’ (HHR) terminals installed at The Flying Lark, so that patrons and gambling fans can place wagers on old horse races.
The Oregon Department of Justice had a spokeswoman confirm that they did receive the lawsuit and were reviewing it.
“Throughout that time, upon information and belief, the DOJ did not take any action nor make any adverse public statements regarding the legality of Portland Meadows’ HHR terminals,” claims Boersma’s petition.
Tribal leaders did write to Oregon Governor Kate Brown to share their concern about Boersma’s desired HHR machines in October, and while she specified that it would not be appropriate for her to take direct action, she did send a letter to the Oregon Racing Commission’s leadership.
“Although it is not my role as Governor to weigh in on agency licensing decisions, it is nonetheless my expectation that, as part of its regulatory licensing function, the Oregon Racing Commission will satisfy its statutory obligation to meaningfully consult with tribal governments,” Brown stated. “That obligation includes consultation before any significant change to gaming activity that may affect the Tribes.”
Tribes have since issued a request to pause any expansion of Oregon gambling until a bigger discussion can be had.