Say Yes to New Hampshire. Say NO to Casinos.

Legislative History of Casino Gambling in New Hampshire

Sources: “Journal of the House,” official record of the NH House of Representatives

1973

HB 545 Establish State Sweepstakes, Gambling & Gaming Commission – Approved.

1975

HB 323 Allow a Casino in Manchester – Defeated.

HB 355 Establish Casinos, controlled by the Gaming Commission – Defeated.

1977

HB 547 Licensing of Casinos & Slot Machines – Defeated.

HB 576 Creation of State-operated casino – Defeated.

1979

HB 527 Authorizing State Controlled Machine Gaming – Defeated.

1981

HB 421 Slot machines at “Approved Facilities” (racetracks) – Defeated.

1983

HB 33-FN Permitting Electronic Gaming At Certain Approved Facilities – Defeated. (Attorney General opposes.)

1987

HB 333 Permitting Video Poker Machines – Defeated.

HB 374 Gambling Funds to Reduce Property Tax – Defeated.

1988

HB 374-FN Video Poker Machine with revenue to offset property taxes – Defeated. (“There is little support for casino-style gambling in New Hampshire.”)

1989

HB 242 Authorizes the licensing of certain clubs and distributors in regard to video poker machines – Defeated. (“Would be so little after giving 50% to clubs also took their cut that this was a special bill for a small group.”)

1990

HB 1266 Establish casino gambling in NH – Defeated. (“The expansion of gambling to this extent would have a severe negative impact on the quality of life in NH.”)

1991

HB 770 Establishing Casinos and Off-Track Betting – Defeated. (“This bill represents too much of an expansion in gambling in the state at the present time.”)

HB 297 Electronic games of chance at racetracks – Referred to interim study.

1992

HB 1489 Casino Excursion Cruises in the tidal river region – Defeated.

HB 297 Electronic games of chance – Referred to interim study.

1993

HB 432 Electronic games of chance at race tracks – Defeated.

HB 573 Video gambling machines – Defeated.

HB 626 Permitting casino gambling in NH – Defeated. (“While casino gambling is presented by some as a financial salvation, the negatives of open casino gambling far outweigh the monetary gain.”)

HB 432 Electronic games of chance at racetracks – Defeated.

1994

HB 1160 “Certain questions on Gambling” to put casino gambling on the 1994 state-wide ballot – Defeated.

SB 162 Establish video lottery games in “Every liquor licensed establishment and race tracks” – Defeated in House.

1995

HB 603 Casino at Pease Air Force Base with treatment of compulsive gambling, and with percentage offsetting property taxes – Defeated.

HB 602 Electronic games of chance at race tracks – Defeated.

HB 599 Licensing video gambling use – Re-referred to committee.

1996

HB 1147 Referendum on casinos on ballot – Defeated.

HB 1451 Games of chance at race tracks – Defeated. (“This is essentially the same bill that was defeated last month.”)

HB 599 Video machines at race tracks, with portion of tax going for habitual and compulsive gambling education – Defeated.

1997

HB 668 Video gambling machines – Defeated.

1998

HB 1352 Permitting Electronic games of chance at racetracks – Defeated.

HB 1602 Permitting Electronic games of chance at bingo halls – Defeated.

HB 1667 Ballot questions permitting electronic gambling machines on the 1998 state-wide ballot – Defeated. (“We do not legislate by referendum because we are elected to make these tough decisions,” Rep. David Larrabee.)

1999

HB 644 Electronic Games at Racetracks – Defeated. (“There is broad skepticism about these revenue estimates, particularly in light of the potential for Massachusetts to permit casinos on our border if such a bill is adopted.”)

1999

HB 121 2,000 “Video lottery” at NH’s four race tracks – Defeated. (Opposed by Attorney General and NH Chiefs of Police. “Majority of the committee believes that the potential social costs & consequences of expanded gambling were not taken into account.”)

2001

HB 651 State-owned Casino and Convention Center – Defeated.

2002

HB 1404 State-owned Casino at Jericho Lake Park in Berlin with revenues going to education tax relief – Defeated. (“The fact that gambling revenues are shown to be highly volatile, and there is little or no ability to predict revenues, it would be unwise & unfair to rely on gambling revenues for education tax relief.”)

HB 1362 State-owned casino, revenue to education – Defeated.

HB 1319 Electronic Gaming Allowed at Racetracks, Bingo Halls and Grand Resort Hotels; Creation of Gaming Commission – Defeated to focus on other bills in the term.

HB 1282 Study to Examine Gaming Feasibility in NH – Passed.

HB 1353 Development of State-Owned Casinos at Horse Track and Three Dog Tracks. Revenue to general fund, to reduce Business Profits Tax, Business Enterprise Tax, and Statewide Property Tax; Creation of Gaming Oversight Commission – Defeated.

HB 644 Give Municipalities Local Control Authorize Slot Machines; Revenue to Education – Defeated.

2003

HB 789 Referendum to Measure Support for Casino Gambling in New Hampshire – Defeated. (“New Hampshire is not a referendum state.”)

HB 163 Towns May Permit Slot Machines and Other Games of Chance – Defeated.

2004

HB 1132 Study to Allow Keno & Slot Machines in Restaurants & Establishments Serving Liquor – Defeated. (“Explored and discussed at length. Nothing would be accomplished by further study.”)

2005

HB 522 Study of Casinos and Slot Machines Regarding Effects on Citizens & State, and Maximizing Revenue – Passed.

HB 685 Deferred to 2006. (“I intend to testify against any bills that would expand gambling in New Hampshire,” said Attorney General Kelly Ayotte. “It has always been a very important issue to the attorney general’s office.”)

2006

HB 685 Establish a State-owned Resort & Casino in the White Mountains – Defeated.

HB 1687 Study of Casinos and Slot Machines Regarding Effects on Citizens & State, and Maximizing Revenue – Extended.

HB 1693 Relative to Funding an Adequate Education – Defeated. (“Establishes gambling as a revenue source and distributes funds in several areas”)

2007

HB 510 Allow Privately Owned Casinos, Regulated by Lottery Commission – Defeated. (“Elements in other bills this term”)

CACR 17 Constitutional Amendment to Use Gambling Revenue to Fund Education – Defeated.

HB 520 State-owned casinos – Deferred to 2008.

HB 637 Video Lottery Terminals, Regulated by Gaming Oversight Authority – Deferred to 2008.

HB 886 Gaming Revenue to Fund Education – Deferred to 2008.

2008

HB 520 State –Owned Casinos, Regulation and Revenue – Defeated.  (“Reviewing other bills.”)

HB 637 Authorizes Video Lottery Terminals, Revenue to Fund Adequate Education – Defeated. (“Reviewing other bills”)

HB 886 Allow Slot Machines at Race Tracks, in Coos County, and up to Three Casinos with Slots and Video Poker – Defeated.

2009

HB 461 Two State-Owned Casinos, 100 miles apart; Commission to Regulate, Revenue to Education – Defeated. (“Bill not ready.”)

HB 593 Video Lottery and Table Gaming in Destination Resorts and Racetracks – Defeated. (“Studies predict that the presence of slots in Massachusetts will decrease revenue in New Hampshire by at least 20% and as much as 50%.”)

2010

SB 489 Video Lottery and Table Gaming at Six Locations, Includng Racetracks and other locations. Includes slot machines and table games at three racetracks, and at a “destination golf resort” in Hudson and two North Country locations. Would have authorized 17,000 slot machines and 900 table games. – Defeated. (“The majority concludes that expanded gambling is proposed in SB 489 does not fix the State’s problems.”)

HB 1678 Video Lottery and Table Games at Large Hotels; Establish Gaming Oversight Commission – Defeated.

SS SB 1 Special Session: Video Lottery Machines and Table Games at Certain Locations Throughout the State – Defeated.

2011

HB 267 Slot Machine Casinos, one in each of the Executive Councilor Districts – Defeated.

HB 593 Video Lottery & Table Gaming Established in Two Locations – Deferred to 2012.

HB 494 Tipped Casino Workers’ Compensation – Deferred to 2012.

2012

HB 593 Video Lottery & Table Gaming Established in Two Locations; Proceeds to Offset State Education Property Tax, Highway Fund, and Bridge Construction & Repair – Defeated. (“The majority cited weak oversight and regulation; insufficient revenue & license fees to the state; door open for proliferation, and the high number of slot machines, the highest per capita outside of Nevada.”)

2013

HB 685 Authorizes Video Lottery and Table Games in two casinos, one in the “White Mountains” and one in a country bordering Massachusetts. This bill requires a minimum $10 million investment for each facility and a license fee of $10 million each for a video slots and table game license. Oversight by the Lottery Commission – Defeated.

HB 678 Allows Video Lottery in six state-owned video slot parlors, limited to no more than one in any county, thereby spreading video slots gaming throughout the state. Four of these facilities shall have 600 video lottery machines and two facilities with 1300 video lottery machines – Tabled.

HB 152 Authorize one privately-owned “high-end and highly casino” for a one-time licensing fee of $80 million, a tax rate of 30% on up to 5,000 slot machines and a 14% on 150 table games. Oversight by the Lottery Commission – Defeated. (“This bill does not have the regulatory infrastructure to ensure protection of the public interest, it does not maximize revenues or put them in the right place, and it affects New Hampshire’s brand and quality of life in ways that are impossible to measure and, therefore, impossible to adequately protect.”)

2014

HB 1626 Establish up to 6 gambling establishments in the state and a gaming enforcement division, and directing 60% of the state’s portion to the general fund. Locations to be determined by the gaming oversight commission – Defeated.

HB 1627 Allows video lottery machines and table games at one gaming location in the state, with proceeds used for highways and bridges, education, North Country economic development and a portion given to cities and towns – Defeated to focus on HB 1633.

HB 1633 License one destination resort casino in Southeastern New Hampshire (not specified but known to be Rockingham Park in Salem). Minimum investment $450 million with an $80 million license fee. Creates gaming commission and a gaming enforcement division of the State Police. Amendment increased slot machine revenue percentage to 35% from 30% and table games to 18%. Revenues to host and abutting community, Supported by Governor Hassan – Defeated.

SB 366 Authorize two casinos in NH, one large resort casino with up to 3500 slot machines and 150 table games, and another smaller venue with 1500 slot machines and up to 80 table games. Also creates a gaming regulatory commission, and directs revenue to the cities and towns, county, and Bill includes an $80 million license fee for the larger license, and $40 million for the smaller – Defeated.