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Should NH allow keno?

Jan 18, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

Once again, the New Hampshire Legislature is considering legalizing keno, a lottery game popular in restaurants and bars in neighboring states. The game allows players to bet on batches of computer-generated numbers every four minutes.

HB 560, like previous keno bills, puts the power to approve the game in the hands of towns and cities. Municipalities must approve keno by way of a ballot vote before restaurants, bars, or other establishments with a valid liquor license can apply for a permit to host the game.

Facilities would keep 8% of proceeds, with 1% of the remainder going to fund gambling prevention and treatment programs, and the rest dedicated to the state's education trust fund.

It is estimated that the game would net roughly $8.5 million for the education trust fund in 2019, if approved.

Previous attempts to legalize keno in New Hampshire have passed the House but stalled in the Senate.

Supporters argue that New Hampshire is currently losing revenue when residents cross the border to play in Massachusetts, where the game has been legal for years. They maintain that the revenue could help fund valuable services, and that adults should have the right to choose whether or not they wish to play.

Opponents counter that keno could prove problematic to those prone to gambling addiction, leading to other social problems or increased crime.

Do you think New Hampshire should allow keno? Comment below to join the discussion.

UPDATE: Read our Citizen Voices℠ report and find out where New Hampshire stands on allowing keno. 

 

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