Home » Opinion » Editorials
Casino games: They're about revenues, not jobs
The first casino bill to make its way in the Legislature this year is House Bill 665, introduced by Rep. Edmond Gionet, R-Lincoln. It would allow the creation of two casinos, "one in the White Mountains and one in a county bordering Massachusetts." Gionet says his bill is all about job-creation.
"This is not a budget bill, and I don't intend it to be one. It's a jobs bill."
No, it's a budget bill. Last year the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies issued a report on expanded gambling in the state. Based on data from other casinos, it estimated that a $500 million destination resort casino in New Hampshire would employ 2,400 people. For some perspective, Elliot Hospital in Manchester employs about 2,800 people.
Casinos would employ a few thousand people, but the direct economic impact would be concentrated in the immediate community. What about the rest of the state? Rep. Gionet says "We've got highways and bridges in really bad shape, and some folks want surcharges on registrations and a gas tax increase to fund that. I don't think so."
The statewide economic impact would come through the use of casino revenues on highway repair and construction. So it is a budget bill after all, not a jobs bill.
Make no mistake, if casinos are allowed in New Hampshire, some jobs would come with them. However, even more jobs would come from reforming our business taxes in ways that encourage more start-ups and relocations. Fidelity Investments' Merrimack campus employs about 5,300 people, more than would be employed by both of Rep. Gionet's casinos combined. When Fidelity closed its Marlborough, Mass., offices last year, it moved those jobs to Merrimack. If New Hampshire concentrated on recruiting more facilities like that, and on making the conditions better for entrepreneurs, we would be far better off than if we pursued a few casinos.
The real reason politicians want casinos is so they can take half of the gaming revenues, vs 8.5 percent of any other business's profits. It's about money, not jobs.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Home-grown talent has UNH women's cross country out in front - 0
- Roger Brown's First and 10: Playoff picture will get clearer - 0
- New players, new coach, new look for Monarchs in home opener tonight - 0
- Making it up: Shameless state Senate attacks - 0
- Blackwater verdict stuns NH dad - 0
- FairPoint paying thousands a day for police details at Manchester sites alone - 0
- Police say man robbed Rochester bank wearing zebra print dress - 0
- New York doctor who worked in West Africa tests positive for Ebola - 0
- UMass Lowell polls show senate, gubernatorial races still a close call - 0
UPDATED: Flood warning issued for southern NH; leaks force visitation to be cancelled at Goffstown women's prison
Debate rule No. 1: Don't crash
Jonee Earthquake band shakes Shaskeen
Fixing Obamacare: Shaheen offers no way out
Blackwater verdict stuns NH dad
Making it up: Shameless state Senate attacks