City and County Say No to Medford Casino

MEDFORD, Ore — Monday was the deadline for input on the proposed casino in Medford, and both the city and county are saying no.

Officials with the city councilor are voicing concerns not just with the casino, but the application itself. It’s still very early in a very long approval process, so nothing is set in stone at this point, but city officials are already saying it’s unlikely the application will ever win their support.

City officials say the way the application is currently set up, it would set aside the casino as its own sovereign land. That means it would be handled directly by the Department of the Interior, leaving the city and the governor out of the process.

The council says the application should be changed to give the city more input, and give the governor veto power. It is still possible to make those changes, but at this point officials say too much is being left to good faith.

City officials say they aren’t dismissing the proposal entirely. They say the 230 or so jobs promised as part of the application would benefit the city, as long as they offer good benefits and family wages. Even if they do keep their opposition, that doesn’t guarantee that the proposal will be shot down.

It’s still very early in the process. The Coquille Tribe will commission an environmental impact statement to look at the impacts. There will also be time for concerns from the city and county to be addressed.