NH gambling panel to hear from Mass. official

New Hampshire gambling panel to hear from Mass. official overseeing problem gambling

Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The director of research and problem gambling for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is scheduled to appear before a New Hampshire panel charged with recommending rules for future casinos.

Mark Vander Linden is scheduled to talk to the New Hampshire Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority when it meets Thursday in Concord.

The New Hampshire panel must submit draft legislation to lawmakers by Dec. 15. The panel also is reviewing whether the regulations governing existing charity gambling should be revised.

The panel was created after the House killed a casino bill this year that had passed the Senate with strong backing from Gov. Maggie Hassan. The bill rejected in May would have allowed the construction of one casino with 5,000 slot machines and 150 table games.

Hassan hopes the commission will address concerns about the state's ability to regulate a casino that came up last spring when the House killed the Senate bill. The sponsor of the bill plans to file a new bill to be voted on next year.

The panel has been considering whether to recommend a new regulatory agency or beef up staffing and power at the Lottery Commission. Also under discussion is the role the state Racing and Charitable Gaming Commission should have in a revamped regulatory system.

Casino supporters are concerned New Hampshire will lose revenue to Massachusetts, which is in the process of licensing three casinos and one video slots parlor. New Hampshire has no personal income or general sales tax and supporters also believe revenue from a casino could help pay for highway improvements and other state programs.

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