Push to block casino in NH ramping up
At a press conference Tuesday, two groups opposing casino gambling in the past, Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling and Casino Free New Hampshire, announced a unified effort to fight the latest attempt to expand gambling in the state.
In the upcoming 2014 session, a similar bill will be introduced by SB 152’s prime sponsor, Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, D-Manchester.
To address that concern, an authority was created to produce a regulatory scheme. The commission meets Friday to review proposed legislation and direct consultants to write a final report.
“It is unfortunate, although not surprising, that opponents of casino gambling didn’t even wait for the final report of the New Hampshire Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority to be released with final recommendations before attempting to choose the outcome of this important debate with the same old rhetoric,” they said in a statement. “The Authority consists of legislative leaders, the state Attorney General, the Lottery Commission and law enforcement in New Hampshire. It has also secured the services of an expert in the field of casino gaming and has heard testimony from numerous individuals of how casino gambling is working in other states and how legalized gambling is currently working in New Hampshire.”
“Once you let one in, more will follow. No state has stopped at one casino,” said Janeway, “This is not a choice we will ever be able to reverse.”
“The negatives outweigh any potential benefits,” Duprey said. “The collateral damage from any casino to existing businesses like restaurants, hotels and cultural venues within a 50-mile radius has to be recognized. If we legalize casinos our state will be in the business of making casinos succeed and that gives the industry heavy political influence.”
The groups include representatives of law enforcement, business, the arts, religious leaders, private citizens and legislators.
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