A casino expansion bill proposed in the state of New Hampshire has died, after being rejected by the House. At the same time, a measure was approved that would ensure no other similar proposal would be brought up for consideration during the remaining portion of the current legislative session.
SB 424 was introduced by Senator Lou D’Allesandro and would have allowed two casinos to be constructed in the state in two different areas. One would be a Category 1 facility with a minimum budget for construction of $80 million. The second venue would be a Category 2 facility and have a value of $40 million or more. In total, both gaming venues would be able to offer a combined 5,000 slot machines and some 200+ table games.
However, these plans are not to be as the state House overwhelming shot down the casino expansion proposal. The 400 member house voted 275-82 in opposition of the measure and even approved a measure at the very same time that will not allow a similar proposal to be introduced during this current session. Apparently the House has no plans to expand on casino gaming.
D’Allesandro created the measure in efforts to keep casino revenues in the state as well as create jobs and provide a benefit to the community. The measure was passed within the Senate earlier this year but was expected to not move forward once it reached the House for consideration, as the House maintains a relatively conservative stance on gambling.
Yesterday, House lawmakers stated that new casino construction would create a negative impact on the economy as well as socially. Representatives are concerned about an increase in gambling and feel that it would bring about more crime as well as problem gambling in the state, not to mention that new casinos could cannibalize the non-gaming businesses in the state.
For now, a casino expansion will not be taking place in the state and any efforts during this current legislative session will be fruitless.