CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire’s House is voting Wednesday whether to legalize two casinos about a month after representatives said â€˜no’ to one casino.
The Ways and Means Committee voted 11-9 to recommend that the House reject the bill, which includes $25 million in aid to communities as a sweetener. The House has never approved video slots legislation.
The Senate bill proposes legalizing two casinos sharing a total of 5,000 video slot machines and 240 table games. The House killed a bill a month ago that would have legalized one casino licensed to have 5,000 video slot machines. House gambling supporters had talked of adding the $25 million in aid to the House bill had it survived.
While opponents say casinos would harm the state’s image, supporters argue New Hampshire needs the revenue, estimated at $105 million from one casino. The Lottery Commission estimates two casinos as proposed in the Senate bill would generate about $168 million for the state and about $480 million for the two license holders when fully operating.
Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, has repeatedly said she supports only one casino. She and other casino supporters have said they believe New Hampshire should legalize a casino to capture gambling profits that otherwise will be spent in Massachusetts, which is licensing three casinos and one video slots parlor.