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The Once-Popular Casino is Now Closed

The Old Camp Casino, located near Burns, Oregon, was owned and operated by the Burns Paiute Tribe of Native Americans. The tribe has traditionally lived in Center and Southern parts of Oregon, and their casino was one of the main economic developments built on their reservation north of Burns along with an RV park and the Sa-Wa-Be Restaurant (located inside the casino). The casino was quite popular with those who lived in the area.

However, in November of 2012, the structure that housed the Old Camp Casino was evaluated by officials and was declared to be unsafe. This was due to poor management decisions--the building had not been kept up to code, and it was now a hazard. This mismanagement had been going on for quite some time, and when the Oregon Health Authority finally closed the building, there was no real way to save the structure. The tribal council immediately declared that the casino would be closed effective November 26. All staff would be laid off once all closing procedures were complete.

At the same time, the Burns Paiute Tribe announced plans to demolish the failing building and construct a brand new Old Camp Casino in its place. This new casino would be larger, feature more gaming areas, and include a brand new restaurant. It will also be structurally sound and will meet all required building codes. Like the previous casino, it was going to feature slots, tournaments, table games, and the occasional bingo tournament. The Old Camp Loyalty Program would most likely also return.

The plan was for the old building to be demolished during the early months of 2013 and then, weather permitting, for construction to start on the new casino. Because it was going to occupy the same land, the old casino had to be torn down first. However, while the early plans called for the new casino to open in the Spring of 2013, as of the end of December 2014, this has yet to happen. The employees of the old casino were told they would have jobs when the casino reopened, but those jobs never materialized.

The tribe has not made an official statement as to why the new casino has not been built, leaving fans to only speculate as to why one of their favorite gambling locations is no longer in business.