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.)