New Hampshire Casino Regulation Panel to Convene
As a sign of just how heated the competition for gambling revenue is becoming in New England, this week it was announced that a gambling regulation panel will meet later on this month in New Hampshire in order to look into the formulating rules for a casino there, Valley News is reporting.
The panel will formulate regulation for a casino that does not yet exist, but will soon, at least if the state’s Governor, Maggie Hassan, has her way.
Governor has worked hard to bring a casino to the state
New Hampshire Governor Hassan has long been a vocal proponent of introducing a casino to the Granite State and has worked hard lobbying for one. Now that Massachusetts is working on casino expansion, Hassan believes that New Hampshire stands to benefit more than ever if it too looks toward a future with land-based casino gambling.
Hassan believes that New Hampshire desperately needs to find a new source of revenue to boost state coffers, and a casino presents a viable option considering the state charges neither sales tax nor personal income tax to its residents.
Upon the announcement of the panel, Governor Hassan said in a statement, “As our state stands to lose an estimated $75 million per year to Massachusetts casinos, moving forward with New Hampshire’s own plan for one highly regulated destination casino will help create jobs, boost our economy and generate revenue to invest in critical priorities.”
Members of the panel will include representatives from various commissions
Among those appointed to the panel are representatives from the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, the Racing and Charitable Gaming Commission, in addition to the New Hampshire State’s Attorney and a host of others drawn from various state agencies.
Governor Hassan, a Democrat, hopes that in establishing the panel, state legislators who have expressed doubts at the state’s ability to properly regulate a casino will be able to set aside such fears to establish such a property within the state. The panel, to be called The Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority, will first meet on August 15.
So far, the Governor’s plan calls for the construction of a lone casino property in New Hampshire. Back in May, a bill that would have green-lighted the construction of one casino died in the state’s House chamber.
Neighboring Massachusetts instilling fear in region
New Hampshire is not the only state worrying over casino expansion in Massachusetts, which plans to issue two licenses for resort-style casinos as well as an additional license for a slots-only gambling parlor. Connecticut, which is home to a handful of successful tribal casinos, is also concerned that when the new properties open to the public in the Bay State, gamblers will choose to travel to those, causing a loss of revenue.
Massachusetts plans to put one casino in the Boston area and another in the western region of the state. The Wynn Company won the overwhelming support of residents of Everett, Massachusetts in June when its plan for a sprawling, $1.2 billion resort was approved by a wide margin in a public referendum.
Last month, MGM Resorts also chalked up a victory at the polls, when voters in the western Massachusetts city of Springfield said yes to its proposed casino, on which it plans to spend some $800 million. That property would guarantee Springfield, which is the second-largest metropolitan area in the state, $25 million annually.
Both plans will need to be approved by Massachusetts gambling regulators before the projects can move forward.
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