The Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling and Casino Free New Hampshire announced Tuesday they will be led by prominent Republican businessman Steve Duprey and former Democratic state Sen. Harold Janeway.
The two men will take over as spokesman from Jim Rubens, who is running for U.S. Senate. The groups represent business, law enforcement, the arts, religious leaders and others.
Janeway said they will focus on keeping and expanding support in the House, which killed a casino bill in May. Bills are being filed for lawmakers to again consider approving a casino next year.
"The issue is back. When we put it down last spring, we thought it would come back, but not so soon," he said.
Duprey said lawmakers also should reject proposed regulations for a future casino being produced by a special panel. Janeway said if lawmakers adopt the regulations, it will boost gambling supporters' arguments for a casino.
A panel drafting legislation to regulate casinos in New Hampshire is hoping to make its final decisions Friday so it can file its recommendations by a Dec. 15 deadline. At its last meeting, the New Hampshire Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority took a straw vote to include a maximum of 5,000 slot machines, the tax rate and number of locations in the regulations.
The panel was created after the House killed a casino bill that passed the Senate with strong backing from Gov. Maggie Hassan. The bill rejected in May would have allowed the construction of one casino with 5,000 slot machines and 150 table games.