To The Daily Sun,
Sometimes the best way to judge progress in a tough debate is by silence. Last spring, when my colleagues narrowly defeated a casino proposal for New Hampshire, they voiced concern that the bill didn't have enough oversight and regulation. That was the prime reason cited for voting no.
Lawmakers created a special commission to come up with a stronger framework. It includes more aggressive oversight by state police and the attorney general. It closes loopholes to ensure integrity of operations. It even establishes a new director of problem gaming to track any problems that may arise from this activity. We will generate real data, not fall back on the same emotional arguments that have driven this debate for years.
The Gaming Regulatory Authority's work was on full display last week when a House committee reviewed a new and improved bill with an entirely new and strict regulatory framework. In four hours of testimony on this new proposal, no one complained about lack of oversight and regulations. In fact, even opponents praised the improvements. That was music to my ears.
I support a high-end casino in New Hampshire, and the non-tax revenue it will bring to our state. My constituents have told me to vote yes. I know the people overwhelmingly support gambling.
This new bill is different. It is the result of lawmakers listening to concerns of colleagues. This is a good plan. I urge my colleagues to vote yes on HB-1633.
State Rep. Dennis H. Fields
District 4 - Sanbornton-Tilton