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New Hampshire slots unlikely this session

Jan 13, 2009 5:07 PM
by Ray Poirier | As Bill Wortman and Bill Paulos know well, when gambling you win some and you lose some.

That seemed to be the case with them last week as the Nevada Gaming Control Board approved the $1.8 billion buyout of their Cannery Casino Resorts by Australia-based Crown Ltd.

But, their efforts to place slot machines at Rockingham Park in Salem, N.H., appeared unlikely after the New Hampshire House Speaker said she doubted that there were sufficient votes to pass expanded gambling in that state.

Millenium Gaming, the partnership of Wortman and Paulos, has an option to acquire the horse track provided the state changed its consistent vote to not permit slot machines.

In an interview last week with John DiStaso, longtime political columnist with the Manchester Union-Leader, Speaker Norelli, a Democrat from Portsmouth, said that despite the state’s fiscal problems she doubted the votes were there for slot machines.

Expanded gambling "has never received more than a minimal number of votes in the House, and quite frankly, I don’t see that changing," Norelli was quoted as saying.

She added that slots legislation might be approved in the Senate but that it would not get far in the House.