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Place your bets: Franklin first for Keno

October 05. 2017 11:52PM

Franklin, New Hampshire’s smallest city, is also the first one to hold municipal elections.

Congratulations to the once and future mayor, Tony Giunta, on his return to office, and to the other winners in Tuesday’s vote.

Franklin also became the first municipality in New Hampshire to approve Keno, the new form of gambling that snuck into law as part of the Legislature’s convoluted kindergarten compromise this spring.

If local businesses eligible to install Keno machines hurry, their customers could be losing money as soon as December.

By then, several other cities will have already voted whether to allow the game of chance, and lottery officials will be trying to convince towns across New Hampshire to put it on their spring ballots.

New Hampshire Lottery Executive Director Charlie McIntyre seems to be confusing his responsibility for promoting the lottery’s offerings with lobbying. It is not his job to push local officials to put the Keno question on the ballot.

Local kindergarten aid is not tied to whether or not a community adopts Keno, so there’s no need to rush. Why not see how Franklin and other early adopters adjust to legalized gambling in their bars and restaurants?

If Keno is successful, towns can move forward. We certainly won’t yet know the long-term impact of Keno on Franklin when voters go to Town Meeting in the spring.

Education Politics Editorial Franklin

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