I’m doing 180 degrees in my position on expanded casino gaming in New Hampshire. It’s not that I don’t support the idea but one factor enters into the whole discussion that ruins the whole idea every time.
There are two main directions for this upcoming legislative session I hope that both of these fail:
The first as reported in the news media is Gov. Elect Hassan’s idea to build a high end casino at Salem on the site of the famed Rockingham Race Track. This is a UTUBE video showing a new high end casino in Atlantic City called Revel. Even in a gaming and market rich area like AC; this new casino, is surrounded by substantial risk of all sorts. New Hampshire is a start up in the gaming field and to date I’ve seen no evidence that the market even exists for such a high end casino in Salem. Beyond this the rest of New Hampshire is neglected by the favoritism of Salem over other regions of the state for gaming licenses.
The Gatsas plan is slightly better in that it allows multiple licenses in location(s) throughout the state however, state control is an issue. New Hampshire can’t run a ski area and a network of liquor stores well how is the state going to run multiple casinos? Never mind granting the licenses.
The answer is they will not. And it won't be fair either.
New Hampshire is already behind the curve in the idea of expanded casino gaming. Suffolk Downs in Boston is progressing as the casino in Oxford, Maine both facilities will and continue to mine revenue from New Hampshire. I’m confident Maine will pass another license I’d be willing to bet it’s in either the Portland area or south like Old Orchard Beach. The market area would include New Hampshire residents bringing gaming revenue over to Maine plus the toll revenue on the Maine Turnpike!
So where does this leave New Hampshire?
I think the only three regions that have a clear shot now are western, central and the northern parts of the state the rest of the areas will simply be in direct trajectory competition with other casinos in nearby states.