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Casino tax breaks: Bad news for Gov. Hassan

We wonder whether Gov. Maggie Hassan, who went all-in for her casino gambling plan last spring and lost, wants an upcoming Massachusetts referendum to pass or fail.

Some proponents here bravely say it doesn't matter whether the Bay State paves the way for a big Boston area casino or repeals such gambling this fall. But rookie Gov. Hassan may secretly hope casinos win in the Bay State and the issue quietly goes away here.

It should go away here, either way.

A recent Wall Street Journal report started this way:

"Racetrack casinos used to contribute as much as $240 million a year to Delaware's tax coffers. But as the Northeast becomes saturated with gambling venues, the state's casino revenue has tumbled, prompting a new industry request - for a tax break.''

Imagine that. The untold riches that Gov. Hassan, state Sen. Lou D'Allesandro and others have promised reluctant legislators in order to win their votes are already vanishing in other states.

The Journal story noted a recent Fitch Ratings report that said the Northeastern gambling market "is reaching a saturation point.''

New Hampshire needs to set its own course, which means not growing government on pie-in-the-sky money promises but having a sensible, businesslike approach to growing the economy. That doesn't seem to be Gov. Hassan's forte.


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