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Charity gambling? Penny ante compared to the big guys
No doubt helped by rules changes, some enterprising businessmen have figured out that there is money to be made by signing up charities, each of which can sponsor 10 nights a year of so-called Monte Carlo gambling. With no heavy lifting, and no legal hoops to jump through for themselves, the charities get a cut of the take from poker, roulette, blackjack, but not slot machines.
Once overseen by the Attorney General's Office, the current state regulation of and accounting for this charity gaming, which also includes Bingo and Lucky 7 games, appears less than rigorous.
Because it would turn a penny ante problem into a big one for New Hampshire. As Attorney General Joseph Foster testified last week, "The gambling we have in New Hampshire now is the minor leagues - maybe even the little leagues - compared to what we have in this bill.''
Because its promise has public employee unions thirsting after the money. Note that even though police chiefs and the attorney general adamantly oppose big gambling, the state police UNION wants it.
Because little New Hampshire has not seen (since the railroads were king a century ago) the kind of concentrated wealth and power that big gambling brings with it. Start with one or two such casinos and within no time that special interest will be calling the tune in Concord.
Big gambling wants in. With each new concern raised, it promises a new fix. Nothing for the North Country? The legislation sends money that way. Charities? Money will be sent to them, too.
The charity gambling already here needs more attention paid it. But swapping it for big casinos is not a good bet for New Hampshire.
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