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January 01. 2014 11:59PM

Gambling, again: 2013's defeat was temporary

Casino gambling was defeated in New Hampshire last year in part by arguments that either cannot be made or will be harder to make the next time. Opponents will have a hard fight on their hands.

There were three primary objections to last year’s casino gambling proposal that doomed it among legislators who were otherwise open to expanded gambling.

One was that the state had no regulatory framework in place to govern casinos. The governor’s gaming commission has come up with a recommended framework. Many House Democrats who opposed expanded gambling because it would be largely unregulated will not oppose it now.

Another was that the revenue would not appear for years, though Gov. Hassan’s budget counted on having it immediately. The Senate killed Hassan’s budget, so that objection is out.

The final big objection was that the bill did not provide the state with a large enough take. Look for any new legislation to give the state a larger share of casino revenue.

These issues brought in enough Democrats and gambling-agnostic Republicans to doom the bill last year. Opponents will need to focus next time around on how casinos will change New Hampshire for the worse. It will be a tough but winnable fight.


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