N.H. Gambling Panel to Hear From Public

Concord (ap) — A commission charged with recommending regulations for future casinos in New Hampshire is seeking the public’s input on the issue.

The commission is holding a public hearing on Thursday at the Statehouse in Concord on an issue that divided the House and Senate this year. The Senate passed a bill to legalize a single casino, but the House rejected it despite lobbying by Gov. Maggie Hassan.

Hassan hopes the commission will address lawmakers’ concerns about the state’s ability to regulate a casino. She and other 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.

State Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, whose casino bill died in the House, plans to file a new casino bill.

At its last meeting, the commission discussed whether the state Lottery Commission is the best agency to regulate a casino because it is run by a volunteer board. Gambling supporters said the state would have to beef up the Lottery Commission’s staff if it is picked to regulate casinos.

D’Allesandro, D-Manchester, said the bill that died had assigned the regulatory oversight job to the Lottery Commission because he was looking for an existing state agency with gambling experience.

But D’Allesandro said he is looking into whether a new regulatory body should be created.