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New Hampshire Casino Bill Advances

Senate Proposal Calls For Two Casinos In State

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A casino bill in New Hampshire made it out of committee on Tuesday by a vote of 4-1, The Telegraph reported. The proposal calls for two casinos in the state.

A total of $120 million in initial license fees would be taken in by the state.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, a Democrat from Manchester.

Previous/other plans called for just one casino, but the second was for a specific reason.

“We were severely criticized for having only one license, that we were rigging it for one individual,” D’Allesandro said. “It is a competitive process; anyone can bid for the licenses.”

One of the casinos would be substantially larger than the second. Up to 3,500 slots and 160 table games for the primary casino, while around half of each for the second. Table games — including poker tables — would be taxed by the state at a rate of 14 percent.

A companion casino bill sits in the house, and that one calls for just a single casino in New Hampshire. A casino bill failed in the legislature last year.

The New Hampshire Senate is more casino friendly than the House.

“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 last year’s 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.”

The state is worried about expanded gambling in the region, most notably Massachusetts.

The current bills are SB 366 and HB 1633.