Two of the year’s biggest policy proposals, the state budget and full-day kindergarten, both bank on the state collecting more money from gamblers.
In total, close to $30 million – via Keno and online lottery tickets. The changes mark the biggest expansion of gambling in New Hampshire in more than a decade.
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Talk to governor Sununu about his recent legislative accomplishments and he’s quick to spread the credit. That’s particularly true when it comes to the gambling policies, which Sununu didn’t propose but ended up endorsing.
“I think the legislature did a great job, looking at these pieces individually and deciding whether they were in the best interests of the state and clearly they decided that they were.”
When asked if he’s ever played Keno himself, the governor was less sure.
“Um, honestly, I can tell you I don’t think so. No I don’t think I’ve played it.”
Clearly, the Governor’s not a regular at the Winners Circle. The sprawling sports bar is just over the New Hampshire border in Salisbury, Massachusetts. Keno’s been available there since 1993.
When I visited recently, Bob Seymour, a retired school administrator, told me he’s been playing longer.
“I’ve been playing KENO for 30 years. It’s a great game and you shouldn’t play it because the changes are winning are not good.”