House Folds on Gaming Bill

Mar 28, 2012

Gambling in New Hampshire ran up against a stacked deck in the Statehouse today. 

The House has voted to kill a bill that would have brought four casinos and 14,000 video slot machines to the state. The bill would have used gambling revenue to reduce business taxes.

Supporters urged quick action to offset the recent approval of three casinos in Massachusetts.

"Since Massachusetts passed its own expanded gaming bill, doing nothing is no longer an option," says Representative David Campbell, a Democrat from Nashua.

The House rejected that plan by 40 votes. 

The House then rejected another amendment that would have put the award of gambling licenses out to bid.

Critics like Hookset Republican David Hess warned colleagues that any expansion of gambling was too much.

"There is nothing of redeeming social value to casino gambling," said Hess. "It will change the brand of New Hampshire forever."

The State senate is considering its own gambling proposal. That too faces long odds of becoming law. Earlier this year, Governor Lynch promised to veto any bill that would bring casinos to New Hampshire.