SAN FRANCISCO (April 6) - Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski and an Indian tribe agreed on Wednesday for the tribe to open the state's first casino off a tribal reservation in exchange for sharing up to $200 million annually in gambling profits with the state.
The deal with the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation will allow the tribe to build a casino in Cascade Locks, a town in the Columbia River Gorge near Portland, Oregon's biggest city.
The casino would be the largest in Oregon. It will turn over up to 17 percent of its gross gambling profits to the state, marking the first time casino-owning Indians in Oregon have agreed to share profits with the state.
"This compact will benefit the people of the Warm Springs Tribe, the community of Cascade Locks and the people of Oregon. Everyone will reap the advantages of new jobs, increased access to education, enhancement of the Gorge environment and economic development," Kulongoski said in a statement.
The federal government must endorse the agreement, a so-called "compact," for the tribe to break ground on its casino. Gambling profits will be used by the state mostly to support college tuition programs.
Local officials back the casino for the jobs it will bring. But environmentalists are critical of the planned project, because it would be located in a national scenic area.
04/06/05 20:31 ET