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Editorial: Place your bets Keno at The Derryfield

March 21. 2018 7:40PM

The city of Manchester will be getting a piece of the revenues from Keno played at The Derryfield Restaurant. But it will not get two bites at the apple as Mayor Joyce Craig had hoped.

A private company runs the restaurant at the municipal golf course, and turns over 1.5 percent of gross revenues to the city.

The management agreement includes language prohibiting gambling on the premises, so Craig proposed that in exchange for modifying the agreement, the city should receive 25 percent of any Keno revenues in addition to its current cut.

This week, aldermen unanimously rejected Craig’s money grab. If Keno brings in more money to The Derryfield, the city will get 1.5 percent of gross revenues.

The incident highlights why we have always been skeptical of increased gambling in New Hampshire. While Keno does not go as far as the long-debated plans to build video poker palaces, the whiff of new revenue proves too tempting for politicians to resist.

The casino-style gambling bills would make New Hampshire a partner in the enterprise, creating an incentive to draw ever more dollars out of the pockets of Granite Staters.

Keno is in its early days in New Hampshire, with several towns voting to allow it last week. We hope state budget writers can use this revenue stream without becoming addicted to it.

Craig has shown she will grab gambling money at the first opportunity.

Business Local Editorial Manchester

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