The latest attempt in a long line of bills to legalise casino gambling in the state of New Hampshire was debated in New Hampshire’s state legislature on Tuesday.
This is the nineteenth attempt by New Hampshire senators to pass the perennial bill, with none of the previous attempts successfully getting through the House of Representatives.
It was a contentious start to proceedings with local anti-gambling group Casino Free Hampshire holding a pre-hearing anti-gambling news conference in the lobby of the senate building.
House Finance Committee member Patricia Lovejoy attacked the bill saying “Debating another casino bill is nothing but a waste of time.”
She then questioned the financial sustainability of any proposed casino development citing new casino developments in nearby Maine and Massachusetts saying “The numbers that have been presented are really pie-in-the-sky numbers.”
A number of state officials and tourism industry leaders spoke against the proposed bill arguing that the case for legalisation was shaky at best.
Senator Lou D’Allesandro, who proposed the bill called upon the New Hampshire legislature to do more to legalise casinos- “While New Hampshire has done nothing, surrounding states now have gaming entities”.
“They advertise on our TV stations and we send buses of New Hampshire residents to those other states to gamble. It’s time for New Hampshire to do something. No state that has done this has crumbled”.
The bill successfully passed through the Senate by 13 votes to 10; however no date has been set for a formal vote in the House of Representatives.
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