Is Legalizing Casino Gaming in New Hampshire the Right Thing?

The legalizing of casino gambling has been debated in New Hampshire legislature for over 40 years and gotten rejected every time. The next time the New Hampshire House Legislature convenes they will begin this debate again and take a vote. There are some hoping this vote ends in the same way it has for more than 40 years. The reasons seem clear cut to those who don’t want casinos to open in the state. The last bill of this kind voted on by the legislature the final count was nineteen to zero making it clear there would be no casinos built. Now the debate and vote are getting ready to take place again.

Those against the opening of casinos in the state have valid factual reasons rather than a moral based argument. First casino revenue is not in the state budget, even though some people believe it to be already in the budget. Secondly, the argument is most states that have casinos open many more than one or two of the gambling places and the state governments get accustomed to the revenue quickly. This is because they assume it can be used to fund expanded or new state programs. Though, from witnessing other states with these thoughts of expansion or new programs and to balance budgets it doesn’t work well. What it shows is if there is any economic downturn the state attempts using the casino’s tax revenue to balance budgets. Then when the revenue isn’t enough they add more locations and more games to keep the expanded or new programs funded.

Another reason is the casino gaming industry often has political influence and this can give the casino owner undue influence. Because of the millions in tax revenue, it can result in the casino owner using this as influence over whether or not a piece of legislation should pass. This might be done by the gaming industry owner by threatening they may need to lay off hundreds of employees if legislation needs to be vetoed that they don’t want or if they want it passed. The state legislatures may feel pressured to keep their citizenry employed.

The common sense approach is while the current bill for two casinos proposes approximately $650 million, but where will this money come from? The answer is people gambling of course and if people are gambling then they are spending money, except it won’t be in the normal places like shopping and restaurants. This shift in spending from local small businesses to corporate casinos could drive them out of business causing job loss and empty storefronts.

Another fear is how it will change the state since New Hampshire is one of the safest states and one of the best places for families. It is rated one of the most livable and safe states for children. Bringing in gambling casinos could change areas more than just affecting local businesses but also the way families live. Those who do not want the casinos in New Hampshire are urging residents to contact their representatives.