I’ll probably never understand politicians. The American state of New Hampshire, like all of the states in the Union, is hurting for cash, though some are worse off than others. New Hampshire right now is facing a growing budget deficit. Staring at all that red ink, the state lawmakers have proposed various ideas for increasing revenue. One of the ideas going through the legislature is an expansion of gambling in the state, which would legalize 17,000 slot machines and table games.
Governor John Lynch, a Democrat in his third term, has spoken out in opposition of the gambling bill. His reasons for being against gambling are the same you often hear, that it will lead to more crime and gambling addiction in the state. None of that is particularly surprising. Gambling is a divisive issue and there are a wide range of opinions on the subject.
What does surprise me is this: Recently Governor Lynch announced his own idea for how to add revenue to the state – the introduction of state-regulated (and taxed) online gambling sites. So, it seems that Lynch is against having gambling in brick and mortar casinos and pari-mutuels but he thinks it’s fine to gamble on your personal computer or iPhone.
It doesn’t make much sense to me. The skeptic in me thinks that it has something to do with lobbyists. Whatever the case, the state legislature seems to be as confused as I am. Whether gambling is added to the state via online websites or brick and mortar casinos (or both), new regulatory infrastructure will be needed. Several lawmakers who support the legalization of casinos in the state are speaking out against Lynch’s proposal, some calling him a hypocrite.
Senator Lou D’Allesandor said that “if the governor is afraid of proliferation, what easier way to proliferate it than online gambling?” Former senator Bob Clegg also pointed out that “the governor is worried about proliferation of gaming but it sounds like he’s going to make every computer terminal in every home and every BlackBerry – including those BlackBerry’s held by kids in high school – a gambling facility.”
Confusing, indeed. The state of New Hampshire does not currently have any law banning online gambling, though there is also no state regulation of the industry, nor are there any online casinos located in the state.
Seminoles Agree to Blackjack Deal?
If you’ve been following blackjack news, then you probably know that for some time the Seminole tribe of Florida has been trying to work out a deal in that state to allow togel hongkong tables at their casinos. On two separate occasions, the tribe reached an agreement with Governor Charlie Crist, but on both occasions the state House rejected the deals, bringing the negotiations back to square one.
This year, for the first time the state lawmakers have been directly involved in the negotiations with the tribe. There have been several points of contention during the negotiation, but the main thing is that the Seminole always wanted exclusive rights to offer blackjack and other table games and it seems like they have finally struck a deal that includes that and still keeps the state lawmakers happy.
Representative Bill Galvano, a Republican representing Bradenton, has been the lead negotiator in the process and he announced on Friday that he had reached a deal with the Seminole tribe. That deal gives the Seminole tribe exclusive rights to blackjack tables in their two casinos in Broward County as well as in their casinos in Tampa and Immokalee. Their other casinos would continue to offer slot machines only. In exchange, the state of Florida will make $1.5 billion in the deal over five years. To balance out the advantage of that exclusivity, the pari-mutuels in the state will be given extended hours of operation, higher betting limits and additional bingo tables.
This is far from a done deal, though. As I reported earlier, though, because this deal doesn’t include every Seminole casino (they own 7 Hard Rock and Coconut Creek casinos in the state of Florida), it will have to be approved by the Seminole tribal council, which includes representatives from every reservation in the tribe. In addition, the bill would have to be approved by the state House and Senate and then signed by Governor Crist. It is believed that Crist is onboard, since he has twice tried to pass a similar agreement. The major question is whether it will get through the full Florida legislature.