Casino Coverage

N.H. Civic Groups: Casinos Book Best Entertainers

May 2, 2013

The executive director of the Capitol Center for the Arts says a New Hampshire casino would outbid her nonprofit and others like it for the top entertainment acts it needs to survive.

Jeff Kubina / Flickr Creative Commons

Testimony turned emotional today as a House subcommittee considered the social costs of allowing a casino in New Hampshire.   Most of the comments focused on studies of gambling behavior and public policy.  The exception was Mell Brooks, of Littleton.  He discussed his five years as a restaurant owner in Oregon, where he was allowed to have five video slot machines. 

In the wake of the bombings in Boston, NH Senator Kelly Ayotte and other lawmakers are arguing for treating the remaining suspect as an enemy combatant, which would break new legal ground; the national gun bill fails to pass, with Senator Ayotte being the lone New England Senator to oppose the bill; the casino bill backed by Governor Hassan and the NH Senate is now being examined by the NH House Finance and Ways & Means committees; both branches of the NH Legislature continue to work on their budgets.

House Committees Hear Expert Testimony On Casinos

Apr 17, 2013

The joint House committee assigned to hear the casino bill backed by the state Senate and Governor Maggie Hassan got an earful today, as House members spent the day listing to experts.

The casino legislation endorsed by the New Hampshire Senate and strongly backed by governor Maggie Hassan got its first hearing in the New Hampshire House Tuesday.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The state’s largest teacher’s union, the National Educators Association of New Hampshire, has come out in favor Governor Maggie Hassan’s budget, including its use of casino gambling as a source of funding.

Chris Jensen / NHPR

If the Senate bill that proposes a single casino in the state becomes law it “would dedicate millions of dollars per year directly to North Country economic development,” Governor Maggie Hassan said during a speech Thursday night before the North Country Chamber of Commerce.

That would spur business and job growth “helping us attract new companies by marketing the North Country’s advantages to businesses in Canada and elsewhere,” she told about 125 people at the Log Haven Restaurant on lonely Route 26 in Millsfield, about 145 miles from Concord.

The N.H. Troopers Association and the N.H. Police Association see a casino on the Massachusetts border as a way to boost law enforcement budgets.

Both unions have supported casino bills in the past, and at a morning news conference they said they don’t expect that position to change. Seth Cooper is President of the Troopers Association.

“It is our view belief that sb152 is a good plan for the state of NH, and will assist the funding of vital services for this state.”

sincerelyhiten via flickr Creative Commons

Gambling in the United States has exploded over the last 30 years. More and more, budget-slashing states are becoming increasingly dependent on lottery and other gambling revenues, and politicians are lobbying for expanded gambling, including here in New Hampshire, where Governor Maggie Hassan has included a line item for $80 million in the budget for casino licensing fees. Hassan has been pushing hard for the construction of a single high-end casino near the Massachusetts border, but opponents point out that problem gambling is on the rise – in fact, pathological gambling is now being recognized on par with alcohol and drug addiction. In 2011, we spoke with investigative journalist Sam Skolnik, whose book, High Stakes: The Rising Costs of America’s Gambling Addiction, unpacks the rise of politically supported gambling, as well as its many hazards.

N.H. Senate Backs Gambling

Mar 14, 2013

The New Hampshire Senate has voted 16-8 to authorize a single casino on the Massachusetts border. The Senate margin is the strongest yet for a casino bill. But the real fight on this issue will be in the New Hampshire House.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Governor Hassan began her day before the Senate Ways and Means committee.  She delivered a pro-gambling pitch familiar from her budget address last week -- New Hampshire needs to act to authorize a casino with 5000 slot machines and 150 table games before similar facilities open in Massachusetts.