Proposed casino project to split revenue among Oregon tribes

Courtesy: Confederate Tribes of Siletz Indians

One week after the opening of the $500 million Ilani Casino in Ridgefield, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians announced plans to build Oregon’s first inter-tribal gaming and entertainment facility.

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“We looked at the money that is going to the state of Washington with the new casino,” Siletz tribal chairman Delores Pigsley said this morning. “With this opportunity, we can give money to Oregon tribes and keep the money in Oregon.”

The proposed casino, to be located on the Confederated Tribe of Siletz Indians’ reservation property in North Salem, would cost an estimated $282 million, said project attorney Craig Dorsey.

The Siletz tribe would pay the construction costs and collect 25% of the net gaming revenue.

Another 25% of revenues would be shared with local and state government, and the remaining 50% would be split by participating tribal partners.

The Siletz are in the process of inviting other Oregon tribes to join the effort.

“We just held a second round of meetings, so we don’t expect a response immediately,” Pigsley said.

Participating tribes will have to agree not to build an off-reservation casino, Dorsey said.

Slated to open in 2021, the approximately 140,000 square foot entertainment, gaming and hotel facility is estimated to bring $185.4 million in gross revenue and 1,500 full-time jobs the first year of operation.  

Dorsey said tribes in other parts of the country occasionally lease gaming facilities from other tribes. In California, tribes in urban areas can contribute to a pool for rural tribes.

But the Oregon intertribal gaming effort is thought to be the first intertribal project its kind.

The Siletz proposal comes as the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde weighs plans for a former racetrack right outside of Portland. The tribe has yet to announce plans for the facility, although a casino may be on the table, Grand Ronde chairman Reyn Leno told Oregon Business last summer.

Leno could not be reached for comment.