New Committee to Probe Oregon’s Gambling Market

The Oregon House has appointed Democrat John Lively (l.) to head the Gambling Regulation Committee for this year and he said that they will be looking at all aspects of gambling in the state.

Oregon state representative John Lively has been tabbed as the new chairman of the Gambling Regulation Committee for the 2023 legislative session, which started at the beginning of the year.

The Democrat will be charged with looking into the state of gambling in the Beaver State, which has had casino gambling since 1971 and was one of a handful of states that were exempt from the sports betting ban that was lifted by the Supreme Court in 2018. They quickly approved sports betting in August 2019.

Lively said it is time to look at all forms of gambling in the state and said it hasn’t been done in more than 25 years.

“Where is all this going, and should there be limits on how fast gambling grows or doesn’t grow, rather than just the fact that if there’s people willing to do it, then we’ll do it,” Lively told local outlet KLCC.

Another facet of gambling in Oregon is the lottery. The state makes a majority of its revenue from video lottery. Lively said that will be reviewed as well.

“If the state continues to try to grow the (Oregon) Lottery rapidly, the impact that has on tribes and their revenue, and whether there’s a role the legislature can play regarding revenue-sharing, I don’t know what that answer is,” Lively told KLCC. He added that “how we would support and protect the tribes if we continue to grow the lottery.”

There are 10 Native American owned and operated casinos in Oregon, but they aren’t regulated by the state. That might be an issue that is addressed in 2023.

This panel headed by Lively will have the ability to propose legislation and have the members of the State Assembly vote on it.

“There are areas that we could potentially reach some kind of agreement on and work on policy direction, (such as) how well we take care of people who are addicted to gambling, specifically those who are low-income who are most likely to be negatively impacted,” Lively said. “Do we have the programs in place? Are they available? Are they effective?”