DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Opinion

May 2, 2013

Letters to the editor

Tell me your thoughts on casinos

To the editor:

Expanded gambling is one of the hot issues currently facing New Hampshire. I have heard from surprisingly few Derry residents on this topic and I’d like to hear more before deciding on my vote.

The proponents make the following points about expanded gambling: it brings much needed revenue into New Hampshire in the form of licensing fees, business profit taxes and increased tourist spending; there is significant popular support; if Massachusetts builds casinos close to our border, New Hampshire residents will go there and spend their money rather than it staying here; building and operating a casino will create jobs; and the current bill protects the revenue of nonprofit organizations that currently benefit from charitable gambling.

The opponents make these arguments: expanded gambling has a negative impact on New Hampshire’s brand and status as a family-friendly, safe place to visit and live; predicted revenues are inflated and profits from gaming in other states have steadily dropped the past few years; often the resort casino that is proposed to gain popular and legislative support ends up being a “slot barn” and eye-sore; the high-paying jobs affiliated with casinos often go to current casino employees who are imported from other states; casinos “cannibalize” local small businesses because people spend their money at restaurants and stores in the casino complex and not in the community; and being dependent on a single industry for revenue leaves our state vulnerable to the influence and interests of the casino industry.

I encourage readers to let me know their feelings on this or any issue; I can be reached at 603-930-3462 or by email at Betsy.Burtis@leg.state.nh.us.

State Rep. Betsy Burtis

Derry

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To the editor:

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