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Coos Bay area has two casinos

I read about the proposed casino in Medford, and how everyone’s opposing it because the state is supposed to have only one casino per tribe. I’ve been out to Coos Bay, and there’s a second casino out there now that looks very similar to the one they’re talking about in Medford. What gives?

— Dave W., Medford

Yes, Dave, you’re right, a new casino known as Three Rivers Casino Coos Bay, at 1297 Ocean Blvd., opened in Coos Bay last year.

The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians also have a second casino in Florence that is known as a Class III gaming facility, a federal designation that allows video gaming and card games.

The Confederated Tribes casino in Coos Bay is a smaller facility that features Class II gaming — mainly video gaming.

Another coastal tribe, the Coquille Indian tribe, plans a Class II casino in Medford, but that proposal has drawn objections from local leaders, Oregon politicians and a third tribal group, the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians.

The Cow Creek operate a casino on Interstate 5 about 70 miles north of Medford and say the Medford casino will siphon its business.

The Coquille tribe has a Class III casino at North Bend. It's only a few miles from the Coos Bay casino, but the Coquille tribe hasn't objected.

Gov. Kate Brown recently opposed the proposal to build a Medford casino. Former Gov. John Kitzhaber also opposed the Medford casino. Neither governor has opposed the new casino in Coos Bay.

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