A bill to introduce “Historic Horse Racing” to New Hampshire sounds interesting but it appears to be more a Trojan horse in at least one respect.
Former longtime state Rep. Neal Kurk raised the alarm in a guest opinion piece on these pages Tuesday.
This “racing” is done via slot machine-style devices. It is supposed to be to the great benefit of New Hampshire charities. It would be offered by operators who run casino-type poker and other games, with a different charity designated to split the proceeds as their turn comes due.
This is nice for the charities, as the operators do all the work. It is also a way for these operators to engage in casino gambling in a state that supposedly doesn’t allow casino gambling.
But Kurk’s question is why the split is so lopsided. He says 75% of the profits go to the operator and less than 9% to the charity.
He also notes that under the proposed legislation (HB 626 and SB 112), there would be no say as to whether a town or city wished to accept such gambling in their community. This is in contrast to the Keno games, for instance. He also questions a provision in the bills that gives exclusivity to a limited number of operators for three years.
That doesn’t sound like a good bet for New Hampshire.