Another effort underway to legalize casino gambling

Mar 22, 2017 9:34 AM

In New Hampshire, another effort is underway to legalize casino gambling. Major casino proponent Manchester Sen. Lou D’Allesandro has championed the effort to authorize casinos in the state for the past 18 years.

The closest New Hampshire has ever been to legalizing casino gambling came in 2014, when Democrats controlled the House, and Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan included casino revenue in her two-year budget, reports the Manchester Union-Guardian newspaper.

Despite support from the governor and the Senate, the 2014 bill failed by just one vote in the House 173-172. If he can get his latest bill out of the Senate, D’Allesandro believes he can make his case to the lower chamber.

The latest Senate bill allows for two casinos. There would be one Category 1 license and a single Category 2 license. The Category 1 license costs $80 million and allows for 80 to 160 table games and 2,000 to 3,500 slot machines. The Category 2 license costs $40 million and allows for 25 to 80 table games and 750 to 1,500 slot machines.

As with previous efforts, the bill faces opposition from the Attorney General and the Casino Free NH organization.

The fact that Massachusetts and Maine now have operating casinos only intensifies the urgency for New Hampshire to follow, says D’Allesandro.