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August 10. 2014 9:49PM

Casinos: Nothing but trouble

Last year, thank goodness, Gov. Maggie Hassan’s half-baked casino plan failed in the Legislature. No doubt she will try again if she wins a second term. There is ample reason to hope this state get-rich-quick scheme never gets past the concept stage.

Writing in The Atlantic last week, David Frum summarized the latest evidence that casinos are economic and social disasters.

People expect casinos to revive cities that have lost other large employers (think Salem), but “that’s not what casinos do,” the project manager for a new casino near Philadelphia admitted. In Atlantic City, casinos are closing, revenues are down, and the promised economic revival did not happen. The city just got its first supermarket in six years.

Studies show that casinos depress nearby property values and dramatically increase gambling addiction.

“People who live close to a casino are twice as likely to become problem gamblers as people who live more than 10 miles away. As casinos have become more prevalent, so has problem gambling: In some states, the evidence suggests a tripling or even quadrupling of the number of problem gamblers,” Frum wrote.

Casinos will not save New Hampshire. They will only bring us more problems.


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