Could New Hampshire end up having as many or more casinos than Massachusetts? If they were to have one, and Massachusetts ends up with, well, none….New Hampshire would be the new casino industry in New England!

A panel drafting legislation to regulate casinos in New Hampshire is hoping to make its final decisions soon so it can file its recommendations by a Dec. 15 deadline.

At its last meeting, the New Hampshire Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority took a straw vote to include a maximum of 5,000 slot machines, the tax rate and number of locations in the regulations, reversing a decision made last summer.

But Attorney General Joseph Foster says he can’t support the legislation if it includes those details.

Remember, it was the same panel created after the House killed a casino bill that passed the Senate with strong backing from Gov. Maggie Hassan. The bill rejected in May was similar to the previously mentioned – the construction of one casino with 5,000 slot machines and 150 table games.

What’s the reason for the rise in casino talk in New Hampshire again? – Same reason as before, losing revenue to Massachusetts proposed casinos (if they truly appear.)

And what about those “charitable games” that civic groups use to raise money for any number of reasons? The panel also is preparing separate legislation to strengthen the law governing charitable games. One proposed change would end the practice of commercial operators of games of chance charging the charities rent and fees that cut into their 35 percent share of the take.

I expect this proposal to be negated just like the first one. Witnessing the success of the anti-casino groups in Massachusetts, and how powerful they have become, any successful push from the New Hampshire legislature will certainly meet a force of the same anti-casino sentiment that will, I believe, end the hopes of casinos in the Granite State.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

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