Concord, NH (December 3, 2013) -- Opponents of gambling expansion in New Hampshire today announced their renewed opposition to the state legalizing casino gambling. The groups included representatives of law enforcement, business, the arts, religious leaders, private citizens and legislators.
“With Jim Rubens moving on, people have been asking who would pick up the torch and lead the effort against the expansion of gambling in New Hampshire,” said former Democratic N.H. State Senator Harold Janeway of Webster, “We’re here today to announce that the effort is as energized as ever.”
The groups’ spokespeople, Janeway and Republican businessman Steve Duprey of Concord, were flanked by anti-gambling advocates at a press conference this morning at the Legislative Office Building.
“We know that legislators will be under great pressure from well-funded proponents to vote for casino gambling,” said Duprey. “We urge them to continue to say “no” to casinos and “yes” for New Hampshire.”
Janeway and Duprey announced that the Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling, which has been working in opposition to gambling since 1991, and the newly-formed Casino Free New Hampshire are joining forces to oppose any effort to license casinos and video slot machines in the upcoming legislative session.
Janeway and Duprey proceeded to outline why the groups did not want to see New Hampshire legalize casino gambling.
“Once you let one in, more will follow. No state has stopped at one casino,” said Janeway, “This is not a choice we will ever be able to reverse.”
“It’s simply a bad idea and nothing you try to do to enhance regulation changes that,” said Duprey, noting that State Attorney Generals over the last 40 years had consistently opposed casino gambling.
“The negatives outweigh any potential benefits,” Duprey said. “The collateral damage from any casino to existing businesses like restaurants, hotels and cultural venues within a 50-mile radius has to be recognized. If we legalize casinos our state will be in the business of making casinos succeed and that gives the industry heavy political influence.”
“And then there’s the well-documented problem of crime, addiction and social costs,” added Janeway.
The groups will work with legislators and the public over the coming months to turn back what it anticipates will be a well-funded effort from the commercial gambling industry to lobby legislators to legalize casinos in New Hampshire.
The groups announced that their new website has information on why gambling is a bad choice for New Hampshire. The web address is www.casinofreenh.org.
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The Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling and Casino Free New Hampshire are non-partisan, not-profit organizations dedicated to stopping the expansion of gambling in New Hampshire. Supporters include:
- Cornerstone Policy Research
- Episcopal Diocese of NH
- League of Women Voters of New Hampshire
- New Hampshire Chiefs of Police
- New Hampshire Council of Churches
- New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester
- Private citizens opposed to legalizing commercial gambling in NH
More information at: www.casinofreenh.org.