CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Sponsors of a bill to legalize casino gambling say they hope gaming tax revenue will pay for planned highway improvements and make it unnecessary to raise the gas tax.
Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan supports the proposal to expand gambling. At a hearing Tuesday, she said New Hampshire can’t pretend gambling isn’t coming to its communities because it’s already here. She says not acting would allow Massachusetts to capture gambling revenue from New Hampshire residents, while New Hampshire pays the social costs.
Opponents say expanded gambling is out of step with New Hampshire’s character and would cannibalize existing businesses and industries. Democratic State Sen. Martha Clark says much of the gambling revenue in Hassan’s proposed budget can be replaced with increased fees and taxes, the way the state traditionally raises revenue.