With so many states in the US warming up to the idea of legalizing casinos within their borders, one state that doesn’t look too interested is New Hampshire and it’s long-standing conservatism on the issue reared its (ugly) head again.
A majority of lawmakers in the state have long been opposed to opening a casino in the state and a few days ago, it became evident that nothing much has changed as far as perceptions on casinos are concerned.
New Hampshire’s House voted 173-144 Thursday to kill a bill that proposed licensing one casino in the state, which would have come with as many as 5,000 video slots and 150 table games. This isn’t the first time a majority of lawmakers in the Granite State have wiped their asses on a proposed casino bill, repeatedly dumping it in the bin and leaving no doubt that the a sizable number of the current crop of legislators have no plans of legalizing casinos anytime soon, even at the cost of potential profits instead going to other states where gambling is – or will be – legal.
It is pretty strange to see how hard it has become to get any conversation started on legalizing casinos in the state. After all, governor Maggie Hassan is a huge proponent of it, often arguing that gambling profits that could be generated with an open casino in New Hampshire is instead heading to other states. It’s a sound take on it because if you’re a resident of New Hampshire and you’re looking to gamble, why are you giving money to other state’s casinos when you can do it from the comforts of your own borders if you had one in place.
And it’s not just the governor that’s pushing to legalize casinos. Late last year, a public opinion survey conducted by the University of New Hampshire showed that residents of the state were slowly warming up to the idea of expanding gambling in the state. When asked whether they wanted to legalize expansion, the survey’s results showed that 59 percent of respondents were for the gambling expansion with 33 percent saying they were against it and 8 percent remaining neutral.
None of that apparently mattered to the decision-makers in the New Hampshire House and with a lot of neighboring states having already legalized casinos – or have expanded the scope of their legalities – it looks like New Hampshire is going to buck that trend, all the name of holding on to outdated economic beliefs.
One such state that’s in the process of opening a total of seven new casinos in the coming years is New York, and as it turns, out casinos won’t be the only places where you can get your gambling groove on. If a current proposal by the state Senate gets green lighted, international airports, specifically departure terminals, will get their own slot machines. The caveat here is the proposal only applies to “international” airports, which means that of all the airports in the state, only JFK and LaGuardia in New York City will be eligible to have slots within their premises. Every other airport, though, are all out of luck.