Sen. Lou D’Allesandro – Gambling Does New Hampshire Good
Sen. Lou D’Allesandro has represented the 20th District ever since 1998 and is a democratic member of the New Hampshire Senate. He has been vocal about the gambling bill and why it is a good move for New Hampshire. He stated that as an elected official, it was his number 1 priority to represent his constituents’ voices in everything that he does. However, as a New Hampshirite, his allegiance is to represent the interests of New Hampshire as a whole.
He mentioned that New Hampshire citizens have since time immemorial been in favour of gambling in the state. When trying to paint a profile of what portion of New Hampshire’s population would be most apt to take advantage of the casinos, he advised caution. Simply looking at other states’ demographic breakdowns and statistics to try to and deliberate what the New Hampshire population would look like would be nothing but speculation.
He firmly stated that he would not conjure claims that he couldn’t back up. Pundits have claimed that the elderly/ retired folk are the ones who would frequent the casinos. However, when the Levenson Institute ran a survey of the people who visited Atlantic city as well as New Jersey residents, they found out that the average age of both residents and visitors was 52 years old. The average visitor ranged from age 50-64 while the average New Jersey resident ranged from 30-49 years old/ The ages of 65 and up made up only 14 percent of the respondents.
From this, he concluded that the retired-aged community is more populated when going out of town to casinos as opposed to when visiting casinos in their own state. This would mean that were there to be casinos in New Hampshire, the elderly wouldn’t make up the largest group of casino patrons.
The statistics in his opinion make establishing gambling in New Hampshire more complicated than it needs to be. After all, casinos such as Keene Casino have been operating within the state. These same facilities have been thriving which suggests that there is a desire to have more of them in the state.
The Senate Bill 242 will grant companies the right to compete against each other, to construct the types of facilities that the public demands. In the long run, it will create additional revenue giving the state more to operate with and give back. The Lottery Commission has estimated a total of $194,337,100 in tax revenue alone under this bill in FY 2021. This is the estimated first full year of operation in each location.
He challenged the critics to entertain the question of what the consequences would be if the SB 242 bill was not passed as opposed to focusing entirely on what they assume would be the potential consequences it the bill wasn’t adopted.
After 20 years of deliberating the bill, he strongly believes the time is now. The time to finally listen to New Hampshire citizens and give them what they want by supporting the passage of the bill.