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Famous casino battle brewing in the New Hampshire Legislature

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Posted July 1, 2013 by Terry Goodwin

State Senator Lou D'Allesandro is back in a meeting in New Hampshire. Legislators, who previously tried to bring casinos to New Hampshire, have proposed another gaming law that, if approved, will bring three new casinos into the state.

D'Allesandro proposed a bill in the Senate that would add 6,000 slot machines. The machines will be placed in three hotels across New Hampshire, and the senator's attention will be similar to that of many other legislators across the country - money.

New Hampshire has suffered from severe budget deficits since the economic recession, and over the past few years they have failed to bring down their budget deficit. The total deficit is over $ 20 billion, a figure expected to increase in the next two years.

Other states such as New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Maine have successfully used casino gambling as a way to combat growing economic problems within their borders. New Hampshire has tried to do the same on several occasions, but lawmakers have been tired of the possible social side effects that the expansion of gambling may bring.

D'Allesandro believes evidence from neighboring states will help convince statutes who are on the fence to vote for the expansion of the games. Others, however, are not so convinced that the social aspect has been resolved.

"This is the same reason we are not legalizing crack salons," said Jim Ruebens, leader of the Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling.

D'Allesandro quickly rejected this view.

"That's not true," said the senator. "We have these problems today without gambling."

Battle numbers increase as the problem becomes more apparent. One of the biggest hurdles New Hampshire will face, even if the bill is passed, is where they will acquire clients from. Massachusetts and New York recently added gambling at casinos in their state, limiting the opportunities for New Hampshire casino customers.

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