Commission of five proposed to oversee gambling in NH
The new commission would have separate divisions for the lottery, casino gambling and racing and charitable gaming while the authority would serve an advisory roll.
The authority was appointed after the House killed Senate Bill 152 last year. The Senate passed the bill to have casino gambling in New Hampshire, which had the backing of Gov. Maggie Hassan.
At Thursday's meeting, Chairman Rep. Richard Ames, R-Jaffrey, presented four regulatory models and most members agreed with the lottery and gaming commission including a racing and charitable gaming division as well.
He said having all of gambling oversight under one agency would improve communications and eliminate duplication.
Barthelmes said implementing the reforms needed for charitable gaming may not be the primary mission of the authority, but including it in the new structure would ensure it would be addressed or five years down the road the same issues will be there.
Authority member Kathy Sullivan suggested the commission members have backgrounds in fields such as law enforcement, finance and the lottery so there would be some expertise.
Also authority members generally agreed with White Sand Gaming consultant Maureen Williamson's suggestion that until the state better regulates charity gaming, it should not be included within a commercial casino.
He said he would not include a similar provision in future legislation until the issues around charitable gaming are resolved.
The location and population would draw interest from the top tier of casino and resort operators, Dickerson told the authority. He said the minimum requirements would probably be exceeded by proposals.
Casino supporters are concerned the Massachusetts facilities would reduce New Hampshire's revenue and draw Granite Staters to the Bay State.
The authority decided not to include specific financial information such as tax rates and the numbers of slot machines or table games in its proposed legislation but will include it in its report.
The authority has a Dec. 15 deadline.
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