New Hampshire Still Taking Steps Toward a Casino

Let’s re-cap, shall we….

  1. First their was interest from the Govenor for Casino Gambling in NH.
  2. Then, legislation for “a” casino was proposed due to the impending Massachusetts casino expansion.
  3. Then, maybe more should be built?
  4. Then – lo and behold, it was voted down.  No casino in New Hampshire
  5. But wait……later in the NH legislation (cue “Batman TV Show Them”)

Now, interest in the Granite state continues to grow once again – but this time, New Hampshire wants a tighter control on the situation.

Kenneth McCabe, who also is a retired FBI regional director, advised a New Hampshire panel charged with recommending rules for future casinos that the best way to regulate them is with a stand-alone, independent authority.His suggestion was for New Hampshire Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority follow similar appointments to Pennsylvania in 2004. McCabe said legislative leaders from both parties appointed four members and the governor appointed three.

Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority met last Sept. 12, and analyzed regulatory structures if a casino proposal ever moves forward. The discussion mostly centered upon whether a new regulatory body should be considered or whether existing structures could handle regulation. It was insisted upon that the proven lottery system over the more gaming since it was already proven, as compared to a new system.

Of late, a new discussion – “Charity Rooms.” Casino supporters had promoted a proposed resort casino in New Hampshire should not have a special room for gambling that benefits nonprofit charities in the state which is opposite to the casino bill Gov. Maggie Hassan endorsed and the Senate approved last spring. The charitable gaming room with backing from front-running developer Millennium Gaming as a way to guarantee nonprofits that benefit from hosting “casino nites” each year would not lose money once the casino opened.

Then, Consultant Maureen Williamson of WhiteSands Gaming told the New Hampshire Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority that stronger internal controls need to be enforced on the private operators running the games to ensure the charities and state are getting their correct share of the take, especially from table games.

The New Hampshire Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority plans to start discussing the different aspects of regulating and licensing a casino when it meets Thursday (Halloween – Trick or Treat?) in Concord. WhiteSands Gaming consultant Maureen Williamson is recommending addressing gaps in regulations governing charity gambling, particularly table games, through separate legislation. Williamson recommended strengthening regulations and controls over charity gambling that mirror those that for a casino.

All of this is due to Casino supporters concerned New Hampshire will lose revenue to Massachusetts, which is in the process of licensing three casinos and one video slots parlor. New Hampshire has no personal income or general sales tax and supporters also believe revenue from a casino could help pay for highway improvements and other state programs.

Wow, Massachusetts without gambling might more influential before it’s all built!

That’s all for now.