I’ll start this blog out with a question:
What exactly is a "higher end, highly regulated casino?"
Gov. Hassan has stated this several times including her recent state speech. I’ve been to casinos all across the U.S. and Canada and have as yet to discover a higher end, highly regulated casino.
I think rows of slot machines and table games look essentially the same regardless of how nice the pictures are on the wall. And to the regulations over casinos and their operations I’ve studied regulations for newly licensed states like Pennsylvania, Delaware and nearby Maine they all seem basically the same.
Enter politics. New Hampshire politics.
I’ve read both Senate Bill 152; which the media describes as the Salem Casino at the Rockingham Racetrack and House Bill 665: which allows a casino on the “Massachusetts border and another one in the White Mountains.”
Both of these bills should be found inexpedient to legislate. And I’m a proponent of expanded casino gaming in New Hampshire.
If this is done correctly casino gaming could be a powerful tool in economic development and tax stabilization both of which this state needs. But if it’s done incorrectly then this means favoritism, corruption and revenue transfer to interests outside of New Hampshire regardless of what the consultants say.
I think S.B 152 and H.B. 665 accomplish the later.
I’d have to give Rep. Edmond Gionet a lot of credit for introducing this bill (H.B. 665), but I don’t sense he took any real time or analysis to determine what one license would do for northern New Hampshire other than call this a “jobs bill.”
H.B. 665 isn’t a jobs bill. It’s a a divisive bill, it’s a fractionalize the tourism market with favoritism bill and it’s an undefined and unfair bill. An example: how can it be fair to either Bretton Woods, Cannon and Loon Mountain ski areas if only one license is granted say, Bretton Woods. New Hampshire should do what Pennsylvania and Maine (partially) have done. Grant like five licenses two of which are very expensive and can be located anywhere, the rest of the licenses go to improvished areas or areas with high unemployment and bad financial statistics. Period.
Please contact the legislator from your district and ask that they vote NO on Senate Bill 152 and House Bill 665.