Home » Opinion » Editorials
A casino ghetto: What NH could become
Senate Bill 152, the expanded gambling bill that has passed the Senate, requires the winner of a state casino license to invest at least $425 million in the casino, but that sum includes the $80 million cost of the license and whatever it costs to buy the land. That could drop the value of the casino itself by about $100 million. As our State House reporter Garry Rayno pointed out last week, that would make for a much smaller casino than the ones that will be built in Massachusetts, where the law's financial and physical requirements are larger and more elaborate.
We have criticized before the argument that people will flock from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to gamble when Massachusetts is going to have three casinos of its own plus a slot-machine parlor. If New Hampshire's casinos are significantly smaller and offer fewer amenities than their Massachusetts counterparts, as the differing investment requirements all but guarantee, New Hampshire casinos will draw few people from south of the border.
Clyde Barrow, director of the Center for Policy Analysis at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, told lawmakers last week that about 20 percent of casino patrons don't gamble, but go for the entertainment. That figure has tripled in the past decade, he said. Small New Hampshire casinos therefore will start with a competitive disadvantage, which will get worse over time.
New Hampshire is offered these casino choices: build small casinos and draw money almost entirely from within New Hampshire, cannibalizing our own economy, or build huge casinos and wipe out many existing entertainment venues, making the casinos the single focal point for large-scale entertainment in the state.
That is if any investor will risk a dime on a casino after Gov. Maggie Hassan's legal counsel, Lucy Hodder, said last week that no casino license is guaranteed for life and any one granted by the law would be subject to later adjustment (higher taxes, a change in operators, etc.) by politicians. How comforting to someone who might want to invest several hundred million dollars.
New Hampshire is preparing to become a low-end casino ghetto. Just the image this tourism-dependent state needs to project to the rest of the nation.
READER COMMENTS: 4
- USNH's raw deal: Part deux - 2
- Every vote counts: Here is the proof - 5
- Burning rubber: And public dollars - 0
- Hassan was right: 'Bullying' bill goes too far - 12
- Strategery: A war by any other name - 30
- Freeh dumb: Favoritism in Vt.? - 6
- Public be damned: Litchfield latest example - 2
- NH's 9/11 victims: We cannot forget - 0
- Celebrating Stark: And America, in Manchester - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Kuster, Shea-Porter split on vote to arm Syrian rebels - 0
- Man arrested in White Park stabbing in Concord - 0
- Motorcyclist in serious condition at Maine hospital following crash on Route 125 in Rochester - 0
- Rochester 10-year-old, grandmother escape fire in home with no smoke detectors - 0
- Two arrested, car and cash seized in SWAT raid, drug bust at South Mammoth Road home in Manchester - 0
- Dean Kamen is a genius inventor, and he's pretty good at oratory, too - 3
- Tom Herzig's Trackside: Modified tour is shortened - 0
- Patriots Notebook: Pats wary of veteran playmaker Woodson - 0
- College Football: Expect offense when Richmond, UNH meet - 0
Two arrested, car and cash seized in SWAT raid, drug bust at South Mammoth Road home in Manchester
Keene man charged with assault on 2-year-old
Another View -- Bill Duncan: What did the NH Supreme Court really say about private school funding?
Every vote counts: Here is the proof
Casino gambles: Hopes dashed all over
Mark Hayward's City Matters: Dean Kamen is a genius inventor, and he's pretty good at oratory, too