Friday, January 07, 2005

Gambling in NH?

It seems that every legislative session brings with it a new attempt to bring casino gambling to New Hampshire. This year is no exception, as Sen. Lou D'Allesandro is once again leading the charge for slot machines at the racetracks and North Country hotels.

Casino gambling in NH is a bad idea whose time will hopefully never come. In state after state, the presence of casinos has sparked an increase in crime, in personal bankruptcy filings, and in political corruption. The casino industry is a nasty, Mob-influenced creature, and we don't need it mucking up our state.

Now, I know some folks think that casino revenue is a quick and easy way to fill the state's coffers. I don't buy that argument. If someone honestly believes that gambling meccas like New Jersey and Louisiana are the epitome of responsible budgeting, then they are in for a rude awakening. Casino gambling has never lived up to its hype as a revenue source, and the increased social costs that are inherent in its expansion largely offset any short-term financial gains.