New Hampshire Lawmakers Veto Gaming Legislation

By Maria McCoyGoogle

New Hampshire lawmakers have killed legislation that would have legalized video slots and four top rated casinos that received licensure to install up to 14,000 video slot machines and 420 table games.

The House rejected the bill with a vote of 236-108. Commentators believed that the legislation faced opposition from the start as Gov. John Lynch said he would veto it if it had reached his desk. The New Hampshire House has also never shown support for expanded casino games bills.

Representative Neal Kurk said, "This bill gives away to gambling and casino interests a valuable asset that belongs to New Hampshire taxpayers. Under this bill, New Hampshire taxpayers are the losers." He argued that the revenue that the state would receive was too low.

The bill outlined that the state would receive a forty percent profit from slots and eight percent from table games.

Supporters of legalization in New Hampshire have looked to recent passage of a casino games bill in Massachusetts as reason to move ahead. They believe that if New Hampshire stands still on the issue, the state could lose between $40 million and $50 million annually in lottery revenue and taxes to its neighbor.

Representative David Campbell said, "Since Massachusetts passed its gaming bill, doing nothing is no longer an option.” 

New Hampshire's House has never supported top rated online casinos, but bill sponsors made the deal more alluring by recommending that some of the revenue to be allocated to defraying New Hampshire's high business taxes, which the Republican-controlled chamber has tried to do. Supporters said that cutting business taxes will create economic growth in the state.

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