Governor Maggie Hassan's latest pitch for a single casino along the Massachusetts border is that it's the logical next step in New Hampshire’s long history of state-sanctioned gambling.
Hassan is also pushing back on a report from the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies that found a casino similar to what she proposes could cost the state money:
"That report was incomplete in that it doesn’t acknowledge the social costs that all ready exists in NH, we do about $250m of gambling a year. And it doesnt add in any figures for the social costs when Massachusetts puts its casinos in, So the frame was incomplete."
That was Hassan on NHPR’s The Exchange. Hassan also argued that a single casino on New Hampshire's southern border would draw well-heeled visitors from across the region.
"A lot of middle income, and upper-middle income and wealthy people go to casinos for entertainment. It’s something they enjoy, they spend money and and states get revenues from, and I think it is the next generation of gambling. N.H. has had gambling for generations and this is the next generation of gambling."
Hassan's proposed state budget banks on $80 million in casino licensing fees. Top budget writers in both parties have questioned the inclusion of such money, which Hassan says is essential for funding priorities ranging from higher education to mental health services.