Salem at center of casino bill debate
Rockingham Park has been seen as one of the likely landing spots for a casino. With resort casinos nearing reality in neighboring Massachusetts, many proponents of New Hampshire casinos see it as a race against the clock.
Last June, 81 percent of Salem voters in a nonbinding referendum supported a Rockingham Park casino. But three of Salem’s eight state representatives — Marilinda Garcia, Bianca Garcia and Patrick Bick — all voted to put a stop to Senate Bill 366, which would have established two casinos with 5,000 video slot machines and 240 table games.
“After having made great strides on gaming, to lose by one vote was a major loss for the state,” said Sweeney, a Republican. “I typically don’t comment on how other representatives in my delegation vote, but I will say that the people of Salem have a right to be heard through their representatives, and on this issue, the voice of Salem is clear.”
On the town side of politics, Selectman Stephen Campbell said he was also disappointed by Wednesday’s vote at the State House.
“I think it reflects very positively that there is quite an opportunity and appetite for two facilities over a single facility,” said Callahan. “I don’t think anyone was as sure of that in the past.”
“Our last chance to beat Massachusetts to opening day is this bill,” he said.
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