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My Turn: Pros outweigh cons in New Hampshire casino debate

I fully agree with Steve Duprey and Harold Janeway (Monitor Opinion page, April 24) that the casino issue should be settled now and that this annual legislative charade needs to stop.

But I feel casinos should be built ASAP.

Polls show that more than 60 percent of New Hampshire residents either want or don’t care about casinos. Why are at least 60 percent of legislators not voting for it?

Representatives may be under the influence of lobbyists from Connecticut casinos, while others are personally against gambling for religious or moral reasons.

I have no problem with someone being morally opposed to gambling, but that is no reason to throw their constituents’ desires into the trash heap.

Whether to legally gamble or not is an individual’s choice and should not be decided by the government.

As for bad economics and uncertain revenue, the casinos wouldn’t be spending big bucks if it was not going to be profitable for them. Profits from the casinos will mean income for the state treasury. How much? Who knows? But some is better than none.

And if a casino fails, so what? Another foreclosed building to be added to an already high inventory.

The addition of two casinos in New Hampshire would increase tourism and give those tourists something to do on a rainy week in July or a snowless winter.

People who like to gamble are going to whether it’s legal or not.

It’s time to put some of this revenue in our pockets.

Will some people abuse the opportunity? Sure, but they’re already doing it, and it’s their freedom of choice, right or wrong, not ours.

Will the character of New Hampshire change? Not much. The southern part of the state has already become Massachusetts North and a casino in Salem won’t change that, except to bring more money into town and help the tax rate. Up north? Maybe a few more tourists and surely more employment opportunities. What’s wrong with that? Casinos are just an addition to our tourist attractions.

We the people need relief. The real estate taxes have become excessive and our infrastructure is rapidly decaying.

Will a casino be a cure all? Of course not, but it’s a step in the right direction.

A few million here, a few million there, and it begins to add up.

(Tom Geno lives in Canterbury.)

Legacy Comments4

Although the title is "Pros outweigh cons...", there really is no discussion of the pros and cons in the opinion letter. He wrote, "People who like to gamble are going to whether it’s legal or not. It’s time to put some of this revenue in our pockets." Using that rationale, one could substitute, "hire prostitutes" or "use illegal drugs" or "commit murder" for "gamble", and then simply use the (assumed) revenue to the state government as a rationale for allowing (i.e., legalizing) that behavior and taxing it - I feel that is a really bad path to take. I found this opinion letter to have little substance.

You can't lump the Don't Cares in with the Wants, and call it a 60% 'Yes' vote. Take away the Don't Cares and you could be left with 20% Wants. Casino(s) in New Hampshire would be the worst thing to happen to the Granite State since William Loeb III.

A casino in Salem to increase tourism? Personally I am one of those that are indifferent to casinos. That doesn't make me stupid enough to buy the whole $$$$ for the State fantasy. The money would be coming from those least able to afford it. Tourist don't want to come here for some dive. Gamblers are notoriously cheap, they gamble, that's it. NH wants to be a family destination, families don't gamble. As for snow-less winters, who are you kidding, people just don't come. Your argument is short on the pros and cons. You are correct on one thing though -"We the people need relief. The real estate taxes have become excessive and our infrastructure is rapidly decaying." Property owners are burdened enough, especially the smaller property owners that can't cut costs with "current use" breaks. Towns have had to rely on courts for school financing, our mediscam tax has been killed, our mental health system has gone from one of the best to, back to the courts to force funding. NH has changed dramatically since I moved here in 1963, not all for the better but progress is the natural state. The last thing on earth I wanted as a teenager was a cell phone, now show me one without. Progress brings more demands, more demands mean more expenses. It's not just a case of big government, it's we make more demands as populations grow. Gambling is no fix and would only add service jobs. So what are the pros?

QUOTE: "It’s time to put some of this revenue in our pockets." That statement says it all. the only litmus test for the decision should be if it is a good recreation for NH citizens - NOT NOT NOT if it fills the bloated coffers of the regime.

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