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Casino Opponents Testify at Hearing in Portsmouth

On March 6, 2007, some lawmakers from Seacoast and several business leaders testified against a proposed bill that will ultimately allow gambling casinos to be built in Berlin and at the Pease International Trade port that can be found in Portsmouth.

The bill, which is officially called Senate Bill 225, would also legalize video gambling machines at half a dozen hotels located in Coos County and 4 horse racing tracks, like the Greyhound Horse Racing Track in Seabrook.

The selectmen or the city councilors will need the consent of the state's voters in a referendum before the casino plan or even the video gambling games could be operated legally in their own communities. The State Senator, Martha Fuller Clark, a Democrat from Portsmouth, commented that Pease is an outstanding venue for state of the art companies and a good model for renovating a former military installation to a good place for economic development.

The senate committee has suspended the hearing for the proposal bill until next week before even the Portsmouth Mayor, Steve Marchand, could even comment on the matter.

Mayor Marchand has submitted written testimony that a casino would only affect the life of the residents of Portsmouth and the performance of the top class industrial park located in Pease that currently employs 6,400 employees in 220 companies and with a yearly payroll of $351 million and 10,000 spin-off jobs in Portsmouth.


08/06/2007 23:46 PM
Davis Coulter