Hayden Island residents protest video gambling - KPTV - FOX 12

Hayden Island residents protest video gambling

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Some homeowners in Hayden Island are saying enough is enough.

The community has become a destination for shoppers on both sides of the state line but protestors say some businesses are attracting the wrong kind of customers.

The shopping center nestled between the Haydon Island Shopping Center and Interstate 5 has earned the nickname "Lottery Row." Homeowners say while the number of businesses that allow gambling has grown, so has the crime rate.

Margot Gillham said she fell in love with Hayden Island fifteen years ago.

"I can't imagine living anywhere else in Portland," Gillham said. "It's just a relaxed, nice, friendly community."

But she said the scenery is changing.

"My husband had his car stolen. It's just gone off the charts and we've had enough," Gillham said.

"I don't feel like I can walk safely a lot of evenings," said fellow resident Cathie Radie. "It's uncomfortable."

The residents are asking their neighbors to sign a petition to stop more video gambling operations of opening up in Hayden Island. The petition would ask lawmakers to consider the density of video lottery businesses on Hayden Island before granting more licenses. It would also keep current business owners from transferring their licenses if they are forced to move.

 "We want to see the Lottery Row businesses begin to reflect the fact they need to do a better job of policing themselves," petitioner Bill Feldman said.

Customers at the restaurants said the establishments should be treated like any other bar.

"It's just another business," Rob Meyer said. "They're just all in the same spot."

"It's here to stay – I get that," Gillham said. "But at the same time, we have an unfair share out here. There's a price you pay for the revenue."

The petitioners plan to hold a rally on Wednesday.

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