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Newly reconstituted N.H. casino regulatory committee to meet Aug. 15

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, listens to panel discussion on “education and workforce: growing school leaders and teachers” at the National Governors Association 2013 Winter Meeting in Washington, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, listens to panel discussion on “education and workforce: growing school leaders and teachers” at the National Governors Association 2013 Winter Meeting in Washington, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The perennial debate over expanded gambling in New Hampshire will rekindle in a couple weeks, when a special commission will begin designing a regulatory structure for casino gambling.

The Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority will meet Aug. 15 in Concord, Gov. Maggie Hassan announced yesterday. It will produce draft legislation and regulations by Dec. 15, ahead of the Legislature’s return in January.

Hassan, a Democrat, supports expanded gambling and this year gave vocal support to a bill passed by the GOP-led Senate that would have allowed a single casino in the state. The Democratic-led House rejected the bill, with a number of representatives expressing concern about how the casino would be regulated.

Hence the oversight authority, which was first created in 2010 but went dormant after the Executive Council rejected a contract to hire expert help. It was re-established by the state budget that went into effect July 1, this time with authority to spend its $250,000 budget without council approval.

Hassan appointed three members: Rep. Richard Ames, a Jeffrey Democrat; Sgt. Patrick Cheetham of the Londonderry police; and Kathy Sullivan, a Manchester attorney and former chairwoman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.

The commission also includes Sen. Jim Rausch, a Derry Republican; Rep. Lucy Weber, a Walpole Democrat; Attorney General Joe Foster; Department of Safety Commissioner John Barthelmes or his designee; New Hampshire Lottery Commission Executive Director Charles McIntyre or his designee; and Paul Kelley, director of the state Racing and Charitable Gaming Commission, or his designee.

(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or
bleubsdorf@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)

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