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Letter: House must reject casino bill

The New Hampshire House is the scene of a momentous debate over the future of expanded gambling. Gambling expansion supporters propose a “single, high-end casino” that they contend will provide the revenue to meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable members of our society. I urge legislators not to take New Hampshire down this path, for it is one of false promises and unforeseen consequences.

It may well be true that the revenue from expanded gambling will provide needed resources, at least for the short term – but how sustainable is this way of funding our government? Do we really think that the continued need for revenue won’t result in significant pressure to build additional casinos? We know that we can’t eat just one Lay’s potato chip, and I doubt we will stop at just one casino.

Some have said that support for expanded gambling is the moral choice, because to act otherwise is to deprive citizens of resources and services. The governor’s budget is predicated on the enactment of expanded gambling – a gamble if there ever was one – and I reject the premise. I applaud the House Finance Committee’s successful effort to craft a responsible budget without relying on expanded gambling.

It is important that legislators vote their conscience and not be swayed by arguments based on the supposed loyalty to political leaders or political party. As John F. Kennedy once famously said, “Sometimes party asks too much.” The House should reject expanded gambling once again.

ROB WERNER

Concord

(The writer is a Concord city councilor.)

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