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Dover Council moves to hold public hearing about putting Keno on the ballot

Union Leader Correspondent

August 09. 2017 9:11PM

DOVER — The city council in Dover is considering putting Keno on their ballot for November’s municipal election.

During their meeting Wednesday night, councilors passed a resolution that will establish a public hearing on the matter. That hearing is scheduled for Aug. 23, and city manager Michael Joyal said a representative from the state’s lottery commission will be there to give councilors and members of the public an overview of the Keno program.

Under a bill recently signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu, Keno will be taxed to allow for full-day kindergarten throughout the state. $1,100 is guaranteed per student each year under the new law. That could increase to up to $1,800 per student.

According to Robin LaFleur at the superintendent’s office in Dover, the city has had full-day kindergarten for years.

In an email sent to the city council prior to Wednesday’s meeting, Joyal said that under the new law, Keno is allowed in hotels, restaurants, brew pubs, ballrooms, veterans clubs, private clubs, social clubs, convention centers, racetracks and sports recreation facilities holding a valid liquor license.

The lottery program is voluntary, and Keno can only be established in communities where voters approve the measure either by a town meeting or citywide referendum.

Elected officials in Manchester and Nashua are considering allowing Keno gaming in their city. The idea may also be brought forward in Portsmouth and Keene. Earlier this week, Franklin was the first city to put Keno on their fall ballot.

On Tuesday, Charles McIntyre, director of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, met with aldermen in Nashua and told them that 2.5 percent of all Keno sales currently in Massachusetts are played by New Hampshire residents. Five of the largest Keno retailers are along the Massachusetts border, he said.

A second public hearing on Keno in Dover will likely be held at the Oct. 11 city council meeting, Joyal said.

Municipal elections in Dover are Nov. 7.

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