House committee votes to kill casino bill

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House committee votes to kill casino bill

Post  fshnski on Wed May 15, 2013 2:40 pm

The House Ways and Means and Finance committees voted 23-22 Wednesday on a Senate bill that would allow up to 5,000 video slot machines and 150 table games.

The panel first heard presentations on amendments that would do everything from strengthening regulatory controls to making the license 20 years and opening up the licensing to new applicants at that point.

Even with the recommendation to kill the bill, groups are working on changes to it to try to win votes to pass it. A House vote could be as early as next week.

Read more: http://www.wmur.com/news/politics/house-committee-votes-to-kill-casino-bill/-/9857748/20160460/-/ptyeeaz/-/index.html#ixzz2TO7jlJLP

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A dozen questions for casino committee

Post  fshnski on Wed May 15, 2013 6:00 pm

A special legislative committee investigating casino gambling in New Hampshire is expected to vote today on a recommendation to the House of Representatives. The group has worked admirably to study the pros and cons of legislation that has the potential to change the state’s politics, economy and reputation. Before voting, we urge committee members to ask themselves a dozen questions:

∎ Does the bidding process seem fair, or is the legislation rigged to give a single company (Millennium) at a single location (Rockingham Park) in a single community (Salem) the edge? Are you comfortable with that?

∎ Are you convinced that the state’s existing businesses – the entertainment venues, restaurants and hotels run by your constituents in your district – won’t be hurt by a casino? How much damage is okay?

∎ With casinos come social problems: crime, addiction, financial hardship. Is the revenue worth the pain inflicted in individuals and communities? How much pain is okay?

∎ New Hampshire’s track record on treating similar social ills – drug and alcohol addiction, for instance – is not great. Are you confident the state is prepared to deal with an increase in gambling addiction?

∎ Gov. Maggie Hassan and her supporters have argued that casino revenue is the way to finance some critical government programs. They rightly want to do more for the mental health system, higher education and infrastructure. Is this the only way to finance those programs? Is it the best way?

∎ Former governor John Lynch’s gambling commission concluded that it would be critical to put tough and comprehensive gambling regulations in place before licensing a casino. The current legislation would do both simultaneously. Are you comfortable with that?

∎ Is the Lottery Commission the proper agency to oversee a casino? Is it up to the task?

∎ The Massachusetts casino legislation allowed host communities to drive hard bargains with their casino suitors. If a casino is allowed at the Rockingham racetrack site, are you confident Salem and the surrounding communities will get all they deserve?

∎ Hassan has said she’s interested in approving just a single New Hampshire casino. Is that the right approach? If so, are you confident future governors and legislatures will be able to resist proposals from other communities and other deep-pocketed casino companies for more – particularly in difficult economic years?

∎ Does the issuance of a single casino license square with the state Constitution’s prohibition on monopolies?

∎ The New England casino market is quickly becoming crowded. Are you satisfied that a New Hampshire casino will become a true destination for tourists – or does it have the potential to become an afterthought to gamblers lured more easily to Massachusetts and Connecticut?

∎ Will New Hampshire maintain its family-friendly brand among tourists – or will the state’s marketing efforts be dwarfed by those of the casino?

The state’s endless budget woes, the governor’s support, and the development of casinos just over the border in Massachusetts have no doubt put new pressure on the House to reverse its historic aversion to expanded gambling.

The gambling committee’s recommendation will carry great weight with the House. Let’s hope the members know what they’re doing.

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Re: House committee votes to kill casino bill

Post  WHL on Wed May 15, 2013 6:20 pm

I thought the same thing myself about why this one company seems to have the "in" on this casino deal.
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Re: House committee votes to kill casino bill

Post  fshnski on Wed May 15, 2013 6:39 pm

I'm glad. We shouldn't be doing things that makes us less proud of living in New Hampshire.

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Re: House committee votes to kill casino bill

Post  WHL on Wed May 15, 2013 6:50 pm

To be honest, I don't feel strongly either way about this.
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Re: House committee votes to kill casino bill

Post  fshnski on Wed May 15, 2013 6:52 pm

I know what you mean. Part of me says "Take the rubes money." But in my heart I know it's wrong.

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