Many in Salem disappointed by casino vote
With the House also voting against reconsideration, the bill won't return before the legislature during the current two-year session.
Salem's nine state representatives, all Republican, were divided on the issue, with five voting in favor, three voting against and one declining to vote on the item.
Representatives Patrick Bick, Marilinda Garcia and John Sytek voted against the casino bill, while Rep. Bianca Garcia wasn't present in Concord on Wednesday.
"Obviously, I'm very disappointed in the actions of the House," Azarian said on Thursday. "We had the chance to add more jobs, to get needed revenues for education, for the Interstate 93 expansion. Now we'll be facing a huge budgetary shortfall."
William Wortman, co-owner of Millennium Gaming, Inc., was traveling on Thursday and was unable to be reached for comment.
A call made to Rockingham Park president and general manager Edward Callahan wasn't immediately returned on Thursday.
"Many residents were in favor of having a casino in New Hampshire and building that casino here in Salem," Hickey said. "So as it stands now, we're left with no choice but to move forward as best as we can."
There's no doubting the failure of SB 152 will be felt strongly by local retailers, particularly the vendors at the nearby Mall at Rockingham Park.
Contacted on Thursday, Simon Property Group, owners of the Mall at Rockingham Park, declined to comment on the rejection of the casino bill.
Salem Selectman Stephen Campbell, who served on the town's casino advisory committee, said he was "extremely disappointed" with Wednesday's outcome, noting that 81 percent of Salem's voters had indicated they favored expanded gambling via a non-binding question that appeared on the March ballot.
Campbell said the reality of potential revenues lost with the failure of the casino bill would "hopefully sink in" with the folks in Concord over the coming five weeks.
"It's a very sad day for the town of Salem as well as for the state," Moore said on Thursday. "This is a huge economic defeat for us and I'm bitterly disappointed in our local representatives for not supporting this."
"A big concern is this could ultimately result in an income tax for New Hampshire," he said. "It will be interesting to see how the governor handles the $80 million shortfall we're facing in revenues now, and I hope this doesn't mean further cuts for our schools, for social services."
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