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.
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.
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.
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.
The democratically-controlled NH House voted yesterday to kill a bill authorizing a casino with as many as 5000 slot machines and 150 table games. The vote is blow to Governor Maggie Hassan, who lobbied hard for the bill. As NHPR’s Josh Rogers reports, the 199-164 vote was consistent with the house’s longstanding opposition to casino gambling, but may strain its relations with the state Senate, which had backed the plan by a supermajority.
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.
If a casino is built in the state, charities in New Hampshire worry their low-stakes table games and bingo nights just won’t be able to compete. Many hold annual charity gaming events to raise funds, and fear big losses. Annmarie Timmins has been covering the casino debate for the Concord Monitor. She joined Morning Edition to talk about the possible effects to charitable gaming.