LFDA Members question raid on American Legion - 281 responses

May 29, 2014

In April, a grand jury indicted an American Legion Post in Lebanon on felony level gambling charges after NH Liquor Commission agents raided and seized more than $15,000 in cash from a Super Bowl raffle. Legion officials say the state gave them the “okay” to hold this type of raffle after they faced similar charges in 2010, while noting half the proceeds from this and similar raffles support various charities. The new head of the liquor commission, however, disagrees with the 2010 decision and expressed his belief that such raffles represent a form of gambling. However, such a viewpoint is decidedly at odds with opinions expressed by an overwhelming majority of Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) Facebook members.

In asking the question, “Should an exception be made in the state’s gambling law to allow organizations that have a liquor license, like the American Legion, to hold raffles at their facilities to raise money for charity?” 81 percent of respondents answered affirmatively with just 4 percent indicating they would not. Fifteen percent of respondents did not directly answer the question. In total, the LFDA received 281 citizen responses, including specific comments from 88 individuals supported by 180 concurrences.

For the majority, disbelief at the situation in general was the overall sentiment expressed by many respondents. One gentleman rhetorically noted, “A bunch of vets buying raffle tickets is raid worthy in New Hampshire these days?” Another respondent added, “Doesn't the State sell lottery tickets at the liquor stores? I know it's kind of apples and oranges, but the underlying premise is the same.”

On the other end of the spectrum, one gentleman disagreed, as he argued, “Granting another group an exemption would be expanding gambling with only a few benefiting.” For those unable to offer a clear opinion, sentiments ranged from general dissatisfaction with the government to concern as to what the future may hold. “No more church, sporting events, camping events, school, and dance 50/50's,” prognosticated one respondent.

The overall sentiment of nearly all respondents, however, was that New Hampshire is quite literally “missing the boat” regarding this issue of gambling. Remarked one gentleman, “Money that would come to the state, or stay in the state instead of driving to Connecticut, is being lost every day.”

Click here to see the full Facebook discussion of this question.

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