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Chances for New Hampshire Casino After Elections?

Immediately after years of failing to acquire casino bills through the New Hampshire Property, gambling supporters are optimistic the dice is rolling their way with Democrat Maggie Hassan’s election as governor.

Hassan supports 1 well-regulated, high-end casino that’s chosen by a competitive bid. The man she is succeeding, Democratic Gov. John Lynch, squelched efforts to bring a casino to New Hampshire during his eight years in office by questioning whether it would negatively have an effect on high-quality of life.

Then this year, Lynch threatened to veto a bill that might have legalized 4 casinos licensed to set up up to 14,000 video slot machines and 420 table games. The bill died in the Residence in spite of supporters’ arguments New Hampshire would lose revenue to Massachusetts, which can be embracing improvement of up to 3 resort-style casinos and also a slots parlor.

New Hampshire’s 24-member state Senate has passed casino legislation previously, but the 400-member Property has never ever endorsed video slots.

But gambling proponents say Hassan’s assistance may well be sufficient to steer the state in a diverse path.

“It’s a new era. It is a new start out. Hopefully it is time to get a new notion around the idea,” mentioned Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Laconia.

State Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, who has championed expanding gambling for 14 years, plans to file a brand new bill to legalize video slots. He said it probably will likely be related to the bill the Property rejected.

Jim Rubens, chairman of your Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling, is confident New Hampshire lawmakers will reject casino legislation in spite of Hassan’s assistance.

“It’ll be a significant fight by virtue from the governor now becoming open to it,” he stated.

James Demers, who lobbies for Millennium Gaming Inc., says he’s gone by way of the list of newly elected lawmakers and believes the prospects for passage are good with its promise of jobs and countless dollars in non-tax revenue.

“A lot of people are seeing Massachusetts having a significant impact on potential and current state revenue,” he said.

Millennium Gaming of Las Vegas has an choice to purchase Rockingham Park race track in Salem and proposes spending $450 million constructing a facility at the track.

Republican Ovide Lamontagne, who lost to Hassan, had campaigned that the race track need to be the web page on the state’s initially casino. Hassan argued the web page should really be competitively bid.

“Gov.-elect Hassan supports bringing 1 well-regulated, high-end casino for the Granite State due to the fact it could enable our state produce jobs, capture income that will otherwise be spent in other states, and aid New Hampshire fund education as well as other critical state services,” said spokesman Marc Goldberg.

“She believes that New Hampshire can develop a casino strategy that will shield our brand as a loved ones friendly state having a great outdoor economic climate,” he added.

D’Allesandro disagrees that only one particular casino should really be licensed.

And Gappens – who’s enthusiastic about putting a casino in the speedway – believes there’s room to get a couple casinos.

Rubens believes that if Hassan sticks to her promise to limit her help to one casino, pro-casino supporters will fight amongst themselves in lieu of reach consensus on one place, dooming passage.

“If there’s only 1, she’ll shed lots of votes within the Residence and Senate,” predicted Rubens.

Gappens believes there is certainly an appetite for gambling in New Hampshire, but not greater taxes.

“As we do an additional price range for the state, we need to search at new revenue sources and folks don’t want those revenue sources to become enhanced taxes,” he mentioned.

Hassan campaigned that some spending budget cuts, especially aid to public colleges, made from the departing Republican Legislature ought to be a minimum of partly reversed. She didn’t propose important taxes to pay for the restorations and instead proposed raising the cigarette tax a dime, rehiring auditors laid off in the Division of Income to raise company tax collections and expanding legalized gambling.

With the economy still sluggish, the pressure will be on Hassan and Democrats to reverse GOP-made budget cuts, but even if lawmakers approve a casino next year the income from it possibly won’t be readily available for the two-year price range Hassan presents to lawmakers in February. Democrats will manage the House starting subsequent month, but not the Senate.

D’Allesandro says New Hampshire must act regardless if it desires to share the gambling marketplace with Massachusetts.

“We know if we do not do something that opportunity will likely be gone forever,” he mentioned.

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