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Casino supporters say timing has never been better
“Last week’s vote shows the mind-set of the New Hampshire House has changed,” said Rep. Richard Hinch, R-Merrimack. “There is a growing will among members to get this done. I believe the conventional wisdom is shifting among my colleagues. This is no longer a question of if the House will support a gambling plan, but when a plan will pass and how we will get there.”
Weyler warned that efforts are under way to expand the MET to all medical providers, not just hospitals, to address the Superior Court rulings overturning the hospital tax. The recent Medicaid Enhancement Tax ruling finding the tax unconstitutional puts an estimated $185 million of state revenue in jeopardy
The House voted 173-172 on Wednesday to kill a Senate-passed bill that would authorize two casinos with 5,000 video slot machines and 240 table games between them. The measure calls for distributing $25 million of state revenues from the casinos to local communities to provide property tax relief.
“Every time one concern is addressed, a new concern arises,” he said. “The regulatory framework is strict and what lawmakers demanded; the number of licenses and (revenue split) reflects a compromise of many different opinions; and the restoration of revenue-sharing is a re-commitment to our constituents.”
Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas said on Monday he supports the bill, as long as it retains the amendment restricting the size of any entertainment venue at the facility to no more than 1,500 seats. “My only concern is that the Verizon is protected,” Gatsas said.
In a letter to Gatsas and the aldermen in February, arena General Manager Tim Bechert said entertainment venues like the Verizon, which has 10,000 seats, are ill-equipped to compete with casinos for major acts.
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