In Unexpected Vote, N.H. Senate Backs Casino Gambling | New Hampshire Public Radio

In Unexpected Vote, N.H. Senate Backs Casino Gambling

Mar 21, 2019

State Sen. Lou D'Allesandro, D-Manchester, is a long-time supporter of casino gambling in New Hampshire.
Credit NHPR Photo

The state Senate narrowly voted Thursday to allow two casinos to operate in New Hampshire. The surprise move by a well-known gambling advocates follows the New Hampshire House voting to allow up to 10 sports betting facilities.

Gambling has not been a front-burner issue in Concord this year, but it soon could be.

The Senate, which has backed numerous casino bills in the past decade,  passed this one 13-11. The vote divided both caucuses. Perennial gambling backer Lou D'Allesandro told colleagues to give this plan a chance.

It's projected to net the state $60 million in licensing fees and more than $100 million in taxes a year.

"Vote this bill ought to pass, send it to the House, third largest legislative body in the English-speaking world, which by the way overwhelmingly, passed sports betting, overwhelmingly, and let them make the decision," said D'Allesandro, a Democrat from Manchester.

The House did pass sports betting, which is also backed by Governor Chris Sununu. The House has never voted for a bill to allow full-fledged casinos.