New Hampshire Senate passes the much talked Casino Bill

The New Hampshire Senate has passed a bill 13-11 that would allow the development of the much talked two casinos in the state. The Senate Bill 113 has called for the development of two casinos – one large one with 3,500 slot machines and with 160 table games. This one will be developed along the state’s southern border. The other casino with 1,500 slots and 80 table games will be developed in a different region.

Speaking on the same, a spokesperson for Millennium Gaming of Las Vegas, Scott Spradling said, “We are cautiously optimistic that House members will embrace this proposal. There is growing support for SB 113 in both sides of the aisle.” Spradling also added, “We are grateful to the New Hampshire Senate for embracing a casino plan that has broad bipartisan and popular support in our state. Senate Bill 113 has tough regulations to ensure fairness and it is crafted to ensure that our state’s casinos can successfully compete against Massachusetts casinos.

These the two casinos will pay license fees of $80 million and $40 million, respectively. The state coffers would receive 35% of the gross slots revenue of both the casinos and also there will be a combined table game profits of 18%. However, the state will go for $50 million in revenue-sharing with local communities according to this year’s version.

Later this month, the New Hampshire House Ways and Means Committee will possibly hold a hearing on SB 113. It is still unclear whether Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan would sign the bill. The reason being, Hassan wanted a single destination casino in the state and according to the new bill, there will be two casinos at two different regions of the state. Her office has made no comments on that.

Similarly, the Massachusetts House of Representatives have also passed a supplemental budget bill. This bill would pave the way for the so called two-year agreement between the parties – Suffolk Downs and the New England Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association

One critical component of this Massachusetts bill revokes the onerous tax on gambling. The earlier threshold of $600 has been now raised to $1,200. This has been made to fall in line with Federal law. The Massachusetts Senate is expected to take action on this bill in the coming week.

While there are consequences of increased gambling addiction, related crime, bankruptcy, as well as other social problems with expansion of gambling, the state has a point in passing the bill with the argument that it will open up avenues for multimillion dollar economic benefits, job creation and boost up to state and local revenue.

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