In the American state of Oregon and an aboriginal student group has reportedly called for a boycott of the Dutch Bros chain of drive-through coffee shops following the emergence of a plan that could see the western jurisdiction’s Grants Pass Downs horseracing facility transformed into a miniature commercial casino.
According to a Saturday report from The Corvallis Advocate newspaper, the Native American Student Union for the University of Oregon is pushing for the embargo after billionaire businessman Travis Boersma (pictured) via his TMB Racing enterprise recently applied for official permission to site some 225 historical horserace wagering machines at the Josephine County development to essentially create a private casino.
Boersma reportedly co-founded the New York-listed Dutch Bros enterprise in 1992 with the company now said to be running over 500 drive-through coffee shops spread across eleven western American states. However, the Grants Pass Downs plan from the 51-year-old purportedly flies in the face of growing aboriginal antipathy as well as a 2010 referendum that saw Oregon voters uphold an existing ban on the establishment of private casinos.
The Corvallis Advocate reported that the proposal to bring the gambling-friendly The Flying Lark venue to the Grants Pass Downs development could potentially violate several local gaming compacts and end up costing Oregon’s nine Native American casino operators millions of dollars in lost revenues. As such and the University of Oregon chapter of the Native American Student Union is purportedly calling for a boycott of Dutch Bros so as to force Boersma into a reconsideration of his Grants Pass Downs plan.
Ashley Younger from the Native American Student Union is a member of the Choctaw Nation and reportedly proclaimed that the Dutch Bros boycott is set to continue until Boersma ‘stops this treaty violation’. The representative furthermore purportedly told the newspaper that the coffee shop chain has three locations in the city of Corvallis, which is additionally home to the around 32,000 students of Oregon State University, while the proposition TMB Racing filed in October remains under review.
Younger reportedly told the newspaper…
“It is supposed to be a right for natives in Oregon to own and operate casinos. This is supposed to be a privilege that’s not extended past those reservations and those past tribes.”
For his part and the Chairman for the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, Dan Courtney, reportedly told the newspaper that the proposal to bring historical horseracing machines to Grants Pass Downs would ‘absolutely’ transform the venue into a commercial casino and ‘the Oregon Constitution bans private casinos.’ The representative’s tribe is purportedly responsible for 298-room Seven Feathers Casino Resort and he moreover asserted that The Flying Lark is set to be marketed ‘as a gaming destination,’ which he asserted ‘is code for casino.’