With Gov. Maggie Hassan scheduled to appear on New Hampshire Public Radio's "The Exchange" this Friday, residents are being asked by an anti-casino advocacy group to call in and stress the problems with expanded gambling.
Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling Chairman Jim Rubens sent out a message on Wednesday detailing what the group sees as issues with the expanded gambling legislation – Senate Bill 152.
The bill, which has previously been backed by Hassan on multiple occasions, calls for one casino license in the state.
According to the GSCAEG, the bill doesn't have any limit set for casino expansion, and SB152 even includes a commission to plan beyond one casino.
"How will the Governor assure that casinos and tacky slots barns do not spread statewide?" asked Rubens in the message. "This has happened in every other state to have allowed casinos."
Another problem addressed by the GSCAEG is possible litigation by losing bidders should an $80 million "monopoly casino license" be awarded, which the group says could delay funding for the proposed state budget.
"Now it's crystal clear that including casino license money will result in a seriously unbalanced state budget," said Rubens. "And no community will be insulated from the broken families, crime, and small business cannibalization caused by casinos."
During a Senate Ways & Means Committee hearing on Feb. 19, Hassan voiced a sense of urgency with Massachusetts set to award three casino bids out of a pool of 11 suitors.
"Across New Hampshire our citizens have made it clear that a high-end casino is their preferred way to increase state support for our priorities," she said last week.
"We can no longer pretend that gambling isn't coming to our communities," Hassan added. "It is already here."
Hassan will appear on "The Exchange" from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Those wishing to speak with the governor are asked to call in by 9:08 a.m. at 1-800-892-6477.