Fight to legalize 2 casinos continues in N.H. House


CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - For the third time in a month, the House will debate whether to legalize casino gambling in New Hampshire and this time supporters of decriminalizing marijuana could play a deciding role.

The House voted 173-172 to kill a Senate casino bill last week, but a representative filed a notice to reconsider the vote when the House meets Wednesday.

It is unclear how many representatives supported the Senate bill because some wanted to vote down the motion to kill the bill so amendments could be debated, including one to attach a proposal to decriminalize marijuana to try to force the Senate to consider it. The Senate has refused to consider a House bill to decriminalize the drug this year after it killed a similar bill last year.

Should the House add the marijuana proposal to the gambling bill and send it back to the Senate, the Senate could reject it for the same reason it refused to consider the earlier House marijuana bill.

The Senate bill would legalize two casinos sharing a total of 5,000 video slot machines and 240 table games.

Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, has repeatedly said she supports only one casino. She and other casino supporters have said they believe New Hampshire should legalize a casino to capture gambling profits that otherwise will be spent in Massachusetts, which is licensing three casinos and one video slots parlor.


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