With 81%, Salem Voters Embrace Casino
Town Meeting results of non-binding referendum question on casino in Salem.
Salem voters overwhelmingly embraced expanded gambling and a possible casino at Rockingham Park, voting 4,598 to 1,074 in a non-binding referendum March 12.
The support should signal to decision-makers in Concord, and statewide, that Salem is ready to have a casino at Rockingham Park, said Sen. Chuck Morse, R-Salem. He is a co-sponsor of the expanded gambling bill making its way, with support of the governor, through the Legislature.
When Moderator Chris Goodnow announced the ballot results, a group of residents in attendance let out a cheer.
The wording of the non-binding question:
"Are you in favor of allowing video lottery machines and table games to be operated in a commercial casino on the property known as Rockingham Park, provided a binding referendum would be required before the commencement of operations?"
The ballot question comes as the Legislature debates a bill to establish a high-end casino, possibly in Salem. Gov. Maggie Hassan supports casino gambling, and has included $80 million from a gambling operator license fee in her proposed budget.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee voted 4-1 in favor of Senate Bill 152 last week; the bill is before the full Senate for a vote Thursday.