Illness won't stop building owner from opening OTB

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HINSDALE, N.H. >> William Faucher has decided nothing will prevent him from opening an off-track betting parlor at 482 Brattleboro Road.

In October 2014, one week after securing a gambling license from New Hampshire, Faucher announced he was giving up on his goal after a personal illness was added to the list of obstacles he faced in trying to open the business. But this week he told the Reformer he now plans to be issued his 2015 license (a new one is required every year) on Feb. 23 and to start taking patrons within two days after that. He also hopes to hold a grand opening on or around Feb. 28.

"I still have my health concerns, but I'm not going to sit still. I'm going to march on," he said.

Faucher has for more than two years been working to establish an OTB in Hinsdale. An OTB is a facility that allows customers to bet on horse and greyhound races broadcast on televisions. Several of Faucher's hopeful start dates for the facility, operating as Hinsdale Harness LLC, have been postponed due to what he calls "bumps in the road."

Faucher raced his first challenge in December 2012, when Keene-based attorney Michael Bentley mentioned during a Hinsdale Planning Board meeting that gambling or waging is prohibited on the land Faucher had originally purchased for the OTB. 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 reach an agreement with Hinsdale Real Estate Development and had to find a different location for his business.

Then, in April 2014, Faucher was denied a 2014 gambling license by the New Hampshire Racing and Charitable Gaming Commission due to an error in filing his federal income taxes. He later learned he had incorrectly filed his federal income taxes by completing a 1099-MISC tax form instead of a 1099-R, but he straightened out the issue and reapplied for a 2014 license. The Planning Board approved the construction of the one-story, 40-by-70-foot facility at its meeting on June 18, 2013.

Faucher has previously told the Reformer that the building, near Thicket Hill Mobile Home Park, has a capacity of about 75 people and he plans to hire seven or eight employees. He said there will be attendants to help customers at four of the business' five betting machines, while the fifth one will be handled by guests in the same fashion as a self-checkout register at a supermarket.

Faucher said he has 40 years of experience in the racing business, as a race official and a former harness racer with nearly 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.

Contact Domenic Poli at 802-254-2311, ext. 277.

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