Keno Bill To Go Before New Hampshire House

Jan 18, 2016

Credit Brian Wallstin for NHPR

  House lawmakers are set to take up a bill this week that would allow keno at bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.

The bill's lead sponsor, Republican Representative Lynne Ober of Hudson, says the electronic games would generate $8 to $9 million in revenue each year - money she says now goes to Massachusetts facilities that offer keno.

"You go down there," she says, "and you see not only lots of Massachusetts plates in the parking lots, you see lots of New Hampshire plates in the parking lots."

The bill would let local communities decide whether to allow the games.

Critics say bringing keno to the state would lead to drawbacks such as gambling addiction, which would be greater than the revenue benefits.

The House has supported keno in the past, as has Governor Maggie Hassan. But the State Senate has rejected the proposal, while repeatedly passing bills to authorize casinos.

The latest bill has the backing of the House Ways and Means Committee.