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November 06. 2013 7:00PM

Commission: New Hampshire's charitable gaming rules need overhaul

CONCORD — A commission studying needed regulations for casino gaming in the state decided Wednesday rules for charitable gaming need to be overhauled as well.

The Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority Wednesday decided to move forward with proposed legislation to change existing laws governing charitable gaming after the group’s consultant recommended tightening regulations.

White Sand Gaming consultant Maureen Williamson told the commission earlier the state does not have the regulatory structure to determine how much is bet at the 10 charitable gaming facilities around the state.

The state’s charities make about $13 million a year on the gaming, taking 35 percent of net earnings from the gaming halls.

Williamson suggested and the authority agreed until the state better regulates charity gaming, charitable gaming should not be included within a commercial casino.

She said there should not be two different standards in the same facility and the public will not make the distinction. Earlier, she told the authority Massachusetts has approved three resort casinos and a video slot parlor and casino supporters here are concerned the out-of-state facilities would reduce New Hampshire’s revenue and draw Granite Staters to the Bay State.

Senate Bill 152 would have allowed one casino in the southern half of the state, but was killed by the House after the Senate approved it.

Sponsors of the bill say they will introduce similar legislature for the 2014 session.

The authority decided not to include specific financial information such as tax rates and the numbers of slot machines or table games in its proposed legislation but will include it in its report.

The commission will meet Nov. 22 to review draft legislation.

The authority has a Dec. 15 deadline.

grayno@unionleader.com


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