Owner hopes to open Hinsdale OTB in April
HINSDALE, N.H. -- The man attempting to open an off-track betting parlor on Brattleboro Road hopes to get his business up and running in April.
William Faucher has for at least a year and a half been working to establish an OTB and on Tuesday said issuance of a gambling license from the New Hampshire Racing and Charitable Gaming Commission is the only obstacle standing in his way at this point. He said he has no idea why he has not received a license. An OTB is a facility that enables sanctioned gambling on horse and greyhound races broadcast on televisions.
"We're good to go," he said.
Sudhir Naik, deputy director of the state's racing and charitable gaming commission, said Hinsdale Harness LLC's application has been received by his agency and the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office, though a background investigation has not yet been completed.
The Hinsdale Planning Board approved construction of the one-story, 40-by-70-foot facility at its meeting on June 18.
Faucher has run into some roadblocks on his way to getting his business off the ground, but he wants to open in time for the Kentucky Derby, which is scheduled for May 3. The project first hit a snag in December 2012, when Keene-based attorney Michael Bentley mentioned during a Planning Board meeting that gambling or waging is prohibited on the land Faucher had originally purchased for the OTB site. Bentley represents Hinsdale Real Estate Development, LLC, which owns the former racetrack property and hopes to redevelop it in the future. The Hinsdale Greyhound Race Track closed in 2008 and was torn down in early December 2013.
Faucher was unable to work out a deal with Hinsdale Real Estate Development and was forced to find a different location for his OTB parlor.
"There was a covenant on the leased property," he said on March 25. "I couldn't get the individual that held the covenant to let the building go. It was of no good to me, so I turned around and sold it."
Faucher said he did not lose any money on the building. He said he then bought the property at 482 Brattleboro Road, which was once a condemned apartment building, from its owners for about $100,000. The building sits near Thicket Hill Mobile Home Park.
Faucher told the Reformer his new facility, with a capacity of about 75 people, is a good one and he has already applied to simulcast races from as far away as California. He said he plans to have about a dozen employees and five betting machines. He said there will be attendants to help customers at four of the machines, while the fifth one will be handled by guests in the same fashion as a self-checkout register at a supermarket.
Faucher previously said he has 40 years of experience in the racing business, as a race official and a former harness racer with about 1,500 wins to his name. He said his most recent venture was a trucking business, though he once managed Bay State Raceway in Foxboro, Mass.
"I can't wait to get going," he said about the OTB parlor.
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.
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