New Hampshire Police All In For New Casinos

New Hampshire police groups are taking an unusual stance when it comes to casino gambling expansion. Instead of the standard stance of denouncing additional gambling, law enforcement officials are backing a proposal to bring new casinos to the state.

The New Hampshire Police association and the New Hampshire Troopers Association have both thrown their support behind a Senate bill that would bring new casinos in the form of up to 150 table games and 5,000 slot machines to New Hampshire. If passed, the state would fall in line with a handful of other Northeastern states that have authorized new gaming facilities in recent years.

Officials believe that there would be no increase in crime from new casinos. In fact, those who spoke on Monday claimed that there would be more crime increases if casino gambling was not soon regulated. additionally, the potential for a new revenue source in the state could be vital to police funding.

The main concern for law enforcement officials is a 22-member anti-drug unit. The unit has been working hard to lower the drug crime in the state, but without additional funding, the program could be cut in half, something nobody in New Hampshire wants to see.

The tax revenue from the new casinos is not yet earmarked, but the belief is that the funding will go into helping keep teens off the streets. The projected revenue is in the hundreds of millions, with funds being then split up amongst various state programs.

The Northeast has become a haven for casinos over the past decade, and even more so since the economic recession. In crafting the bill that passed the Senate last week, lawmakers examined how gambling expansion has worked in states that recently added new casinos. Among the states examined were Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Massachusetts. The latter has yet to open a new casino, but finally passed casino expansion laws last year after several years of debate on the issue.

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