Belknap County delegation breaks 12-3 against casino gambling

CONCORD — Only three members of the Belnap County Delegation voted in favor when the New Hampshire House of Representatives yesterday voted to reject a bill to authorize one casino to operate slot machines and table games at a location in the southeastern quarter of the state. The vote was 173 to 144.

Democrats Lisa DiMartino of Gilford and Ruth Gulick of New Hampton were joined by Republican Dennis Fields of Sanbornton in support of the bill.

Ten Republicans — Reps. Richard Burchell of Gilmanton, Guy Comtois of Barnstead, Jane Cormier and Stephen Holmes of Alton, Don Flanders, Bob Luther and Frank Tilton of Laconia, Bob Greemore and Herb Vadney of Meredith and Michael Sylvia of Belmont — and two Democrats — Reps. David Huot of Laconia and Ian Raymond of Sanbornton — voted against the bill.

Reps. Beth Arsenault (D-Laconia), Charles Fink (R-Belmont) and Colette Worsman (R-Meredith) were absent and did not vote.

Without roll call votes the House also scuttled two other bills to expand gambling by permitted as many as six venues with video lottery machines.

A Senate bill, sponsored by Senators Lou D'Allesandro (D-Manchester) and Andrew Hosmer (D-Laconia) was amended and endorsed by the Senate Ways and Means Committee then tabled in the Senate.