Here is the latest gaming stories from New Hampshire. I think they may be serious this time!
KENO, and ONLINE BETTING and CASINOS, oh my!
A central part of Gov. Maggie Hassan’s 2012 campaign was expanding gambling in New Hampshire. The Legislature, for its part, let Hassan’s plan die, spurring Hassan to criticize the (bipartisan) Legislature and create a special commission to work out the regulatory hurdles.
In a reversal of a 50-year precedent, the Department of Justice ruled that the Wire Act of 1961 did not prevent state lotteries from selling tickets online. In fact, the Justice Department said, states could go beyond selling lottery tickets online and open internet-based “casinos” including virtual table games – blackjack, roulette, etc. – and slots, all under the umbrella of the state lottery. This “state lottery” exemption also gives Hassan a new path to bring casino-style gambling to New Hampshire and repair the holes left in her budget by the Legislature’s refusal to approve a brick-and-mortar casino.
New Hampshire Sen. Lou D’Allesandro has been the leading lawmaker in the state in efforts to get a casino bill passed. In fact, the bill he introduced and was passed by the Senate in the most recent session was strongly supported by new Gov. Maggie Hassan.
After the House rejected the bill, Gov. Hassan formed a commission to recommend regulations for any future casino. However, D’Allesandro reportedly is considering drafting a bill that would legalize video slots and plans to discuss his plans with the gambling commission.
AN INTERESTING (CHEAP) IDEA…
The Gambling Regulatory Oversight Authority, which is exploring what a casino regulatory structure ought to look like, heard that sentiment repeatedly last week. “We are trying to use an existing framework,” added Democratic Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, of Manchester, the legislature’s biggest casino proponent. The primary arguments for using the Lottery Commission to regulate casinos, then, seem to be twofold: That it already exists, and it already promotes and regulates games of chance. In other words, rather than create a separate entity dedicated to casino regulation, the state can do it on the cheap if it uses the Lottery Commission.
New Hampshire’s Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority will meet today, Aug. 15, in Concord in order to begin work on producing draft legislation and regulations for a casino plan by the middle of December.
The state legislature reconvenes in January. In an effort to keep pace with neighboring Massachusetts, that bill would have allowed 5,000 slot machines and 150 table games at an already existing gambling facility. Are we back to the pressure of Mass Gaming and a NH quick fix again?
MAYBE WE SHOULD GO TO THE PEOPLE?
Didn’t we hear this already? This time, the commission charged with recommending regulations for future casinos in New Hampshire is seeking the public’s input on the issue. The commission is held a public hearing at the Statehouse in Concord on an issue that divided the House and Senate this year.
IS ROCKINGHAM READY ALREADY?
The Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority held last Thursday in Concord. President & general manager Ed Callahan predicted, “We are going to be there,” Rockingham Park. Rockingham Park officials have said they are prepared to bid for a casino license. Las Vegas-based Millenium Gaming Inc., which has an option to buy the track, has plans for a $600 million-plus casino development, including a hotel, that would create an estimated 3,000 construction and gaming jobs. The key is still finding regulations that work somewhere and adapt them to New Hampshire’s revised statutes.
LEAVING YOU HANGING…
What did the NH Legislators hear from their public relation?
Is Rockingham still interested?
Could the Losers Bracket in Massachusetts set their sights on NH?
Will the NH Lottery be the gaming commission umbrella for all gaming in the Granite State?
Will NH be the first New England State to have legalized online gambling?
Will the Red Sox win the World Series?
More news after the weather forecast…..
“light today with darkness at night“
that’s all for now.