Familiar Casino Battle Brewing In New Hampshire Legislature
State Senator Lou D'Allesandro is at it again in New Hampshire. The legislator that has attempted to bring casinos to New Hampshire before, has proposed yet another gaming bill, one that will bring three new casinos to the state if approved.
D'Allesandro has offered up a bill in the Senate that would add 6,000 slot machiness. The machines would be placed in three hotels throughout New Hampshire, and the senator's focus will be similar to that of many other legislators country-wide, money.
New Hampshire is facing stiff budget deficits since the economic recession, and they have failed over the past few years to lower the state deficit. The total deficit is upwards ofr $20 billion, with that figure expected to grow over the coming two years.
Other states such as New Jersey, New York, Maryland, and Maine have successfully used casino gambling as a way to combat growing economic problems within their borders. New Hampshire has attempted to do the same on several occasions, but lawmakers have been weary as to the possible social side-effects that gambling expansion could bring.
D'Allesandro believes that the evidence from neighboring states will help convince lawmakers who are on the fence to vote in favor of gaming expansion. Others, however, are not as positive that the social aspect has been solved.
"This is the same reason we don't legalize crack cocaine parlors," said Jim Ruebens, the leader of the Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling.
D'Allesandro was quick to dismiss that notion.
"It's not true," said the senator. "We have those problems today without gambling."
The battle figures to heat up as the issue becomes more prominent. One of the biggest obstacles New Hampshire will face even if the bill passes, is where they will get their customers from. Massachusetts and New York have recently added casino gambling in their state, cutting the clientele possibilities for New Hampshire casinos.