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Political Wins Could Revolve Around Gambling Issue In Many States

The political season is heating up around the US as potential legislators focus on campaigns to win their respective elections. In many states, it is the gambling issue that could be the deciding factor on which politicians get elected this Fall.

Over the past couple of years, the gambling expansion issue is one that has polarized lawmakers around the US. Since the economic recession of 2008, lawmakers have been debating whether casino, lottery, and sports gambling is an avenue that could help state budgets. In many cases, the answer has been yes, and budget gaps have been closed thanks to the gambling expansion.

In other cases, such as New Hampshire, Kentucky, Illinois, and Florida, gambling expansion has hit a roadblock in the respective Legislature's. The upcoming November election will go a long way in determining the fate of gambling in the future for these states, and lawmakers are gearing up for a hard-fought battle over the issue.

"The gambling issue is one that has evolved over the past decade," said Gaming Analyst Brad Dawkins. "Ten years ago, lawmakers were completely closed to the idea of casinos in their state and gambling online. Now, the trend is turning and the majority of legislators are in favor of some form of gambling expansion."

In New Hampshire, Governor John Lunch has been against casinos, and his opposition has made it difficult for lawmakers to come up with a bill the governor would sign. The candidates for the gubernatorial race in November are all open to the idea of gambling expansion, and that could play a major role in who will be the eventual winner.

"I think it's (casinos) a key gubernatorial issue," said Republican candidate Ovide Lamontagne. "The key here is creating jobs. I would say I'm not ruling it out."

Job creation has been the driving factor behind states such as New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Massachusetts all expanding their gaming options. New casinos have brought thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue to Pennsylvania. Massachusetts legislators authorized casinos earlier this year after years of debate on the issue.

In Kentucky, Governor Steve Beshear has been on the side of bringing slots to state race tracks, but the opposition has been too strong to make that a reality. Beshear is hoping that a new group of legislators will help finally push the issue through next year.

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