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New Hampshire To Begin Work On New Casino Bill

Officials To Produce Draft Bill By The Middle Of December

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New Hampshire’s Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority will meet today, Aug. 15, in Concord in order to begin work on producing draft legislation and regulations for a casino plan by the middle of December.

The state legislature reconvenes in January.

A casino bill in New Hampshire died in the legislature this spring.

In an effort to keep pace with neighboring Massachusetts, that bill would have allowed 5,000 slot machines and 150 table games at an already existing gambling facility.

Massachusetts is set to see three brand new Las Vegas-style casinos and one slots-only facility eventually constructed within its borders. Two of the leading firms for such projects include Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International, both based out of Nevada.

The debate in New Hampshire is a classic one.

Supporters of expanded gambling in New Hampshire think it would increase tax revenue for crucial areas such as education and transportation. Opponents say the societal costs would be too high, and that those would offset any potential revenue stream for the state’s coffers.

Gov. Maggie Hassan has been pushing hard for such a bill to come to fruition.

The bill failed earlier this year after some lawmakers refused to discuss and vote on it, much to the dismay of Hassan, a member of the Democratic Party.

“It is disappointing to see the House of Representatives break from the New Hampshire tradition of open and thorough debate,” the governor said in statement in May after the plan had hit the muck. “Without passing SB 152, the path will be more difficult, but the people of New Hampshire expect us to do difficult things.”

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