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New Hampshire House To Vote On Casino Bill

Unclear If Proposal Has Any Hope, However

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The Associated Press reported that the New Hampshire House is voting Wednesday on whether the state should expand gambling.

In an effort to keep pace with neighboring Massachussets, the bill would allow 5,000 slot machines and 150 table games at an already existing gambling facility.

Supporters reportedly are arguing for much needed increases in tax revenue while opponents say a casino will increase addiction for some persons in the state, as well as potentially cause damage to New Hampshire’s apparent family-friendly image.

New Hampshire’s casino bill is in the House after passing the Senate this spring. Its road to success remains unclear because of complex discussions on how to regulate.

“What is surprising to me is that (the bill’s sponsors and writers) don’t learn,” Rep. David Hess, who has led the House fight against casinos, told the Concord Monitor. “There are the same defects and the same omissions year after year, despite the fact that we point this out in committee (discussions) and on the House floor.”

In a state budget address, Gov. Maggie Hassan said that she is looking for the state to license one “high-end, highly regulated casino.”

New Hampshire would charge an $80 million fee.

“I know expanded gambling has been an on-going and difficult debate,” she said in a statement. “But the social costs many are worried about are already here, and with Massachusetts moving forward, we can no longer pretend that expanding gambling isn’t coming to our communities. It is.”

For more news from New Hampshire, check out its state page.