After yet another casino bill failed last year, new versions have emerged – with new regulations attached in hopes of appeasing opponents. Supporters say a casino would bring in much-needed revenue to the state. But opposition remains among those worried about social costs, and those who question whether it would be profitable, given expanded gambling elsewhere in New England.
The Ways and Means Committee passed this casino bill as soon as the public testimony ended, but the full Senate is expected to slow things down by tabling the bill until the House considers a proposal allowing one casino with a beefed up regulatory scheme.
Prior to voting in favor of the senate plan, Derry Republican Jim Rausch observed what’s obvious to anyone who’s watched N.H.’s casino debate: without movement in the House gambling goes nowhere.
Legislation that would bring Keno to an estimated 250 bars and restaurants would, for the first time, establish a program to treat gambling addiction in New Hampshire.
An amendment to HB 485 would set aside 1 percent of the sales from Keno - about $435,000 - to the state Department of Health and Human Services for education, treatment and prevention services. William Butynski, D-Hindale, who proposed the amendment, says it’s time for lawmakers to recognize that even state-sponsored gambling such as the lottery can cause problems for a small percentage of people who play.
It’s been two years since Massachusetts’ gaming law took effect, but so far, not a single casino has been licensed or built. The law allows for three regional resort casino licenses and one slots parlor. Casino proposals in the Southeastern part of the state have stalled.
The Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling and Casino Free NH will be led by Concord businessman Steve Duprey, former Chairman of the State Republican Party, and Harold Janeway, former Democratic State Senator from Webster.
Duprey and Janeway were both active in the effort to kill the casino legislation backed by Governor Maggie Hassan earlier this year. Janeway says their groups' new lobbying effort will focus on the N.H. House, which has never backed a casino bill. He added that there is no time to waste.
A special panel tasked with developing casino regulations for New Hampshire may meet with its newly hired consultant at its meeting Thursday.
The New Hampshire Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority recently hired WhiteSand Gaming of Nevada and New Jersey to help it write regulations for lawmakers to consider next year. The panel has a Dec. 15 deadline to submit draft legislation.
The agreement with WhiteSand says its charges cannot exceed $135,000.
UMass Dartmouth Professor Clyde Barrow cited the states of Delaware, West Virginia, and Rhode Island as possible models for New Hampshire. All place gambling regulation under their states' lottery commissions - and none, said Barrow, needed to hire a huge number of people to do the job.
"As you can see in the case of Delaware and Rhode Island, which respectively have two and three casinos, have 59 and 51 employees respectively, and that is to supervise traditional lottery, virtual and live table games, VLTs and charitable gaming combined."
Our sunniest content of the week, all in one smart and snazzy hour. This week, misogyny online, the return of legal internet poker, an app that proves you're on a public beach, surprising summer reads, and a photographer's documentation of vanishing highway rest stops.
More than two years have passed since the Department of Justice seized and shut down three major American online-gambling websites, charged site executives with bank fraud, and froze millions of dollars in player funds. Since then, social gaming from Zynga and the like has been thriving on social media sites, attracting millions of players to their digital tables, using only fake money. At the same time, real money gambling is also back on the internet - on April 30th, Station Casinos in Nevada became the first site to offer real online poker since the 2011 shutdown. The questions are: will the for-profit sites draw millions of social players and will they put real money on the line? Michael Kaplan is a contributing editor for Cigar Aficionado and has been covering the return of online gambling.
This week, NHPR has been taking a close look at what a casino would mean for the town of Salem, a likely location for a gambling establishment. On Wednesday, the House voted down the idea of expanded gaming. We end our series today with a look back at the best—and worst—times The Rock has faced.
Gambling has been front and center in New Hampshire politics since January. Governor Hassan made a major political push for it, interest groups weighed in on both sides, and public policy groups came out with data on the possible effects of a Granite State casino. That's why today's vote in the House has been considered by many as maybe the biggest vote of the year. In the end, the House voted 199-164 to kill the casino bill. Today we'll have some of the major players of this debate and ask gaming advocate what's next for them.
As the New Hampshire House prepares to vote on a casino bill this week, NHPR is bringing you a series of stories that look at the implications of opening a casino in the Granite State. Today we turn our focus to the potential social costs related to gambling addiction: how the state is handling problem gambling now, and how it could in the future.