Guest Point of View: Betting Terminals at Flying Lark and Oregon’s Native Tribes | Opinion

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Letters Regarding “Opinion: Founder of Dutch Bros. steals income from native tribes” (January 5)

Dutch Bros. co-founder Travis Boersma plans to establish 225 betting terminals that would be used for horse racing betting at the Flying Lark, an entertainment complex at Grants Pass. The Oregon tribes say the betting terminals would illegally reduce their casino’s revenue, which is used to provide public services.

In an opinion column, Emerald columnist Emma J Nelson says Boersma’s plan would unethically deprive Oregon’s native tribes and urges readers to boycott Dutch Bros. Coffee.

For the editor:

I’m disappointed that this business is stuck at opening. I have a daughter. She’s a single mother with two teenagers buying a house. She was hired to work at the Flying Lark. Now Native Americans fear losing money. The casinos are busy no matter what. She depends on this job. I think it would be good for the town of Grants Pass. Please let my daughter work. She must provide for her children and feed them. Since it was put on hold, she gets nervous and worries about what’s next. She’s not the only one feeling this. There are other families who depend on this business to open as well. Thank you.

Lisa Nielson

Golden Hill, Oregon

For the editor:

The Oregon Lottery was not mentioned. The state lottery is said to be one of our “Oregon tribes” who stand to lose. I was expecting first and foremost a statement from him. I will do my part and encourage the boycott, and hope to see more updates and also be present at all meetings. Thank you.

Torrie Nelson

Portland, OR

For the editor:

I agree with your article. Native Americans have been abused long enough. Dutch Bros. should instead invest in affordable housing. It seems that our state does not care about the major problem of rising housing costs. Instead, more mansions go up as low-income people become homeless.

Adrian Boutin

Medford, OR

For the editor:

Regarding the Flying Lark and Travis B: Let it be known that this guy is also trying to save an industry that has been cut short via Native American casinos and the Oregon State Lottery. How many thousands of jobs were lost in this state in the horse and greyhound racing industries when casinos and video game terminals were allowed in every bar and restaurant in this state. Instead of trying to paint this guy as an evil, greedy individual, I suggest this article and this columnist do a little research on what the Native American game and the Oregon Lottery has done to destroy lives in this state via these regressive forms of entertainment. I don’t know Travis. But I know he has a deep love for horse racing and the industry as a whole, and he’s trying to save it with countless jobs — not making more money. Frankly, any money he made from horse racing at Grants Pass or the [historic horse racing terminals] is almost laughable compared to his coffee empire, and most of the money he would earn will be plowed back into the races by topping up the purses the horses run for. The editorial of this article is very naive and wrong.

James Mass

Beaverton, OR

Editor’s Note: The story in question, “Opinion: Founder of Dutch Bros. steals income from native tribes,” is an opinion column, not an editorial. It reflects the opinion of an individual opinion writer rather than an editorial board or the Emerald as a whole.

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