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House Committees Hear Expert Testimony On Casinos

The joint House committee assigned to hear the casino bill backed by the state Senate and Governor Maggie Hassan got an earful today, as House members spent the day listing to experts.

The House Finance and Ways and Means committees spent most of their morning being walked through the bill line by line by Hassan administration legal counsel Lucy Hodder.

"I mean I can stay all morning, I am happy to review every aspect, I’m just cognizant of the fact that I have been here for an hour."

Lottery Commission director Charles McIntrye, testified by Hodder’s side.  He told lawmakers casino companies are looking hard at expanding here.

"I have met with five individuals or entities who have some level of interest in building in this state."

The committee also heard presentations by the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies, a professor from UMass-Dartmouth, and Andy Leitz, who chaired the gambling commission formed by Governor Lynch.

Leitz told the committee, "there will be an overstatement on all sides – regarding revenues, social issues and economic development."  

Questions from lawmakers included concerns about how casinos slated for Massachusetts might affect the market for gambling here, to the effects a casino would have on local businesses, and the potential for more problem gambling.

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