The following statement was issued today by House Majority Leader D. J. Bettencourt following the 14-7 OTP/A vote of the House Ways & Means committee on HB 593, relative to video lottery and table gaming:
"As someone who has represented the people of Salem in the NH House, it certainly should come as no surprise that I support this responsible expanded gaming legislation. It will not only create jobs, cut business taxes and increase the revenue stream into our state, but it is also in complete compliance with the NH Republican Party platform. While I have I have yet to get a concrete temperature of our caucus on this issue, the recent actions in our neighboring states of Massachusetts and Maine should certainly give cause to those who have opposed gaming in the past to perhaps reevaluate their position.
To my knowledge this is the first time that a gaming bill has received a favorable recommendation from a House policy committee, which demonstrates that the reevaluation process for some has already commenced. If NH does not take action now, we could see a decimation of our lottery income with no alternative left to make up for the lost revenues. Once we hear from Governor Lynch and what his intentions are, we can then begin to truly evaluate the chances for the success of this legislation. Until his intentions are known, and we become more comfortable with the views of our caucus, this will remain a vote of conscience for Republicans."