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New Hampshire Governor Wants To Use Casino To Alleviate State's 'Mental Health Crisis'

State's Top Lawmaker Eying Bill To Authorize New Gambling Joint


It seems that more casinos set the stage for more casinos, at least these days.

As neighboring Massachusetts prepares for the eventual construction of three full-scale, resort-style gambling joints, New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan wants one for herself.

In a state budget address, Hassan said that she is looking for the state to license one “high-end, highly regulated casino.” New Hampshire would charge $80 million.

“I know expanded gambling has been an on-going and difficult debate,” she said. "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.

The question is: Will we allow Massachusetts to take revenue from New Hampshire’s residents to fund its needs, or will we develop our own plan that will allow us to address [the casino’s] social costs and invest in our priorities?"

Those priorities include “freezing in-state tuition” and the “mental health crisis.”

The casino would help “strengthen” the New Hampshire economy, she also said. Despite the new casino — and the mental health crisis — Hassan believes the state can protect its “brand as a family-friendly state with a great outdoor economy.”

She added that the competition for a Massachusetts casino license shows that demand is there for more gambling in the region. In addition to Massachusetts, Rhode Island has seen its own gambling industry take a step forward with the authorization of table games at one of its gambling facilities. Some in New York are also eying casino construction.

Legislation to authorize the new New Hampshire casino is on the table, but its chances of reaching the governor’s desk for possible signature are unclear.

Image via Wikipedia.

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