SALEM, N.H. (CBS) – Beacon Hill is looking to bet again on casinos.

House lawmakers started debate Wednesday on a new gambling bill that would legalize three casinos and one slot parlor.

The bill would split Massachusetts into three regions, with one casino allowed in each.

But when all is said and done, we could actually have four casinos in our backyard.

New Hampshire is also looking at expanding gambling and one of those casinos could end up just over the border.

WBZ-TV’s Lauren Leamanczyk reports

At Rockingham Park, the plans are ready for a 450 million dollar casino and race track.

All they need is the go ahead from state lawmakers. Bills are being introduced in the House and the Senate.

Right now the only place to see racing at Rockingham Park is on TV, but if these bills pass, they say you could see horses back on the track.

A gaming expansion has failed in New Hampshire before, and opponents say expanded competition is no reason to push it through now.

Katrina Swett, who is with the Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling says, “It will really hit our communities hard and cost us in terms of increased police expenses and all the social pathologies that come along with gambling.”

Chuck Morse, the Republican Senator from Salem wants a casino. He says it’s not a slam dunk but he thinks lawmakers will take a serious look — regardless of what Massachusetts does.

“That shouldn’t stop New Hampshire from moving forward,” says Senator Morse. “I think the biggest thing in New Hampshire that we see as a problem is we’re letting all these non-tax dollars leave New Hampshire.”

Managers at Rockingham say they could have a temporary casino built in eight months; a facility that would draw customers from the north and the south.

Comments (3)
  1. Italo says:

    Why the hell is it so difficult to get Massachusetts to permit citizens to have different legal entertainment choices available to them in their own state? But yet they can’t get the signs to match up with the streets or construction signs, and don’t forget to make sure them Public Garden bronze ducks are always painted shiny and not missing. lol

  2. jaygee says:

    My view only but I would rather go the 90 miles to Ct. casinos than drive half the distance to get to Rockingham Park. Just the thought of some of the yahoos walking around up there would be enough to scare me away. It’s the only state I know of that actually puts state liquor stores right on the highway. Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it?

  3. Matt Foote says:

    we need one and if were last like this state seems to be we will miss out go to fox-woods and look in the parking lot all the cars from ma and nh all that money would be here and taxed and as for the down side of needing more police the taxes and other revanew would pay for it and wait more police means more jobs so what’s the down side

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