Say Yes to New Hampshire. Say NO to Casinos.
Political and Legal Damage
10. Gambling cannot be “limited.” One casino will lead to more.
No legislature can bind a future legislature. Short of a constitutional amendment passed BEFORE the first casino is legalized, the NH Gaming Study Commission (page 11) found no means to stop casino proliferation, with impacts reaching into every NH community.
To maintain gambling tax revenues in the face of the declining casino industry, gambling-dependent states are under constant pressure to expand casino locations and into new forms of gambling in more locations. Allowing even one casino is tantamount to allowing statewide proliferation.
Plummeting tax revenue from casinos throughout the country has forced states to legalize more casinos, and slot machines at bars, restaurants, social clubs, and truck stops.
Maine’s two casinos now offer high-stakes table games in addition to slots, though voters were promised that this would not be necessary when racinos were legalized in 2003.
The 81-page bill developed in 2014 by the NH Gaming Regulatory Oversight Commission proposed establishing a large new state bureaucracy including a salaried, five-member New Hampshire Gaming Commission, and a Division of Gaming Control with its own Executive Director and a Director of Problem Gaming and Research.
The bill spells out the need for the NH Attorney General and the State Police to take part in the regulatory and criminal implementation and enforcement of casino regulation.
The bill itself called what the state will set up “large-scale commercial gaming.” If this bureaucracy were ever put in place, expect to see more casinos licensed to support both it and the increased state spending that casino revenue will support.
As former head of Governor Lynch’s Gaming Study Commission Andy Lietz has written, “Across the country gambling dollars have become what some refer to as ‘legislative cocaine.’ Once you have a little bit of it, you want more.”