EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

May 16, 2013

House panel rejects casino bill by one vote

Full House likely to vote on expanded gaming bill next week


“The joint committee spent three weeks attempting to address the failings of SB 152 ,but could not overcome the bill’s inadequacies,” said Lew Feldstein of Casino Free New Hampshire. “Thanks to Speaker Terie Norelli and the members of the joint committee, there was a careful review of the bill and they concluded that the certain costs outweigh the possible benefits.”

Jim Rubens, spokesman for the Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling, agreed.

“It’s a very bad deal for New Hampshire,” he said “Without providing certain, stable revenues for either the next budget or the future, SB 152 would do lasting damage to our state. SB 152 would create more new addicts than new jobs and send millions of entertainment dollars that now circulate in our local economy to a Las Vegas operator.”

More than a dozen union members, representing building trades, attended the panel vote yesterday. They wore blue and white shirts that proclaimed their support for a casino.

New Hampshire Building and Construction Trades Council president Joe Casey said the special committee’s work was “hijacked” by committee leaders.

“It’s clear from today’s razor-thin vote that SB 152 would have seen a favorable outcome if a vote on amendments to improve the bill had been allowed,” he said.

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