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Gambling in the Granite State

BREAKING: N.H. House kills bill legalizing single casino

Rendering of Millennium Gaming's proposed casino at Rockingham Park in Salem, presented on Wednesday, May 08, 2013.

Rendering of Millennium Gaming's proposed casino at Rockingham Park in Salem, presented on Wednesday, May 08, 2013.

After months of debate and lobbying from all sides, the House voted 199-164 this afternoon to kill a bill legalizing a single casino.

Gov. Maggie Hassan, who campaigned on a plan to use casino revenue to restore deep cuts to state funding, issued a written statement saying she was disappointed with the vote. She warned that budget negotiations will become more difficult without the $80 million the bill would have brought in a license fee.

“I remain committed to working with the Legislature to finalize a balanced budget that restores the priorities that the people of New Hampshire support: job creation, higher education, economic development, strengthening our mental health system and protecting the health and well-being of our communities,” Hassan said. “Without passing (the casino bill), the path will be more difficult, but the people of New Hampshire expect us to do difficult things. We must work together to keep our state moving forward and to ensure a brighter, more innovative economic future for all Granite Staters.”

The senators who sponsored the bill had harsher words after the House vote.

“It is an absolute shame that this bi-partisan, carefully crafted piece of legislation has been rejected by the House,” read a statement from Sen. Churck Morse, a Salem Republican, and his two co-sponsors. The bill “would have created 1,500 new jobs, funded repairs for our roads and bridges and been a source of revenue for economic development in the North Country. This bill was our best chance in years to reap all of those benefits and the House closed the door. The House’s rejection of SB 152 is even more egregious when you consider that a majority of New Hampshire citizens, as well as Gov. Hassan, support casino gaming.”

The statement, also issued by Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, a Manchester Democrat, and Sen. Jim Rausch, a Derry Republican, continued.

“In our opinion, it is now the duty of every single representative who voted against SB 152 to tell us exactly how he or she intends to find the new, non-tax revenues we need to create jobs, fix our infrastructure and help the North Country. The Senate has made it clear new taxes are totally unacceptable.”

Time for the democrats to get down to work and pass a continuing resolution to continue the balanced republican budget

I'll say it again. The majority of NH citizens want a casino. Someone here voted against the wishes of the majority of constituents. I thought that was taboo. Are some elected officials just smarter than their constituents???

Thank goodness the house finally had the good sense to do the right thing for New Hampshire! I applaud the courage it took to defy the tremendous pressure both from outside and inside the state. There are many who willy vilify the reps for their vote but New Hampshire will simply have to learn to pay for public expenses with other sources of revenue. It is indeed unfortunate that the "t" word can't be used, most states have found it to be a useful tool for funding government. New Hampshire prefers fees or gimmicks like the lottery,(which is gambling enough!) Housing values will begin to rise soon, maybe that will help.

I wonder if any of the "nays" wrote letters to the Monitor spitting mad Ayotte voted against the will of the people? Amusing. I have not actually taken a position on the casino...Its my first hearing that a poll was taken in NH and the majority want it. Well then...who do these reps have to say?

On the contrary, I'll be more interested in what the senators have to say. Chances are it will be the same sad refrain as they threaten to hold their breath until we turn blue.

LOL..NH turns blue ..then red...then blue..then...

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