NO High-End Casino for NH – SB152 Gives Millennium a Monopoly
Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling
Millennium Gaming keeps pointing to its Meadows race track casino near Pittsburgh, PA to support the claim that its proposed Salem casino would be “high end” and would stimulate development around Salem. Let’s have a look at these claims.
If Millennium operates such high end casinos, why is it getting such poor reviews from gamblers at its Meadows casino near Pittsburgh, PA?
Don’t take our word for it. Read the American Casino Guide customer reviews.
If Salem is to be high end, why is Millennium willing to spend only $200-250 million on the casino building? This is one quarter to one-sixth the cost of a destination-resort casino, and the cost of a local-market convenience casino that won’t draw tourists and will do nothing more than cannibalize jobs and customer spending at local restaurants and entertainment venues.
Don’t take our word for it. Read the fine print in SB152 (the casino bill written almost verbatim by Millennium’s lobbyists):
RSA 284-B:12, II.(a) The applicant shall agree to make a minimum capital investment [of] … not less than $425,000,000. (b) For purposes of this paragraph, the required capital investment shall include the license fee required to be paid [$80 million] … the purchase or lease price of land where the gaming facility will be located [Millennium has never disclosed its agreed purchase price for Rockingham Park] and any infrastructure designed to support the site, including, but not limited to, drainage, utility support, roadways, interchanges, fill and soil or groundwater or surface water contamination issues [costs unknown but substantial].
Salem should not expect a development boom if a convenience casino is built there. The development around the Meadows casino results primarily from the shale gas boom. Here is a graphic prepared by NPR showing gas drill sites, the added blue X being the Meadows location.
And about that casino monopoly
SB152 is written with reckless tight timelines for two reasons. First, to get the $80 million casino license fee into the budget. Second, so that Millennium will be the only casino developer able to submit its gaming license application within the required 90 days following publication of the lottery commission’s request for application.
Don’t take our word for it. Prospective Loudon and Hudson casino developers both testified to the Senate Ways & Means Committee that the timelines were so tight as to make it impossible for them to submit complete applications. Millennium has been plotting for a Salem casino since 2005 and has likely completed the time-consuming requirements for an application.
Here is a partial list of the application requirements that must be complete within 90 days under HB152 (RSA 284-B:12):
Applicant criminal history, financial affairs, evidence of financial stability and capability, casino business experience.
Casino plans, designs, names and addresses of architects, engineers, designers.
Construction timeline and phasing.
Detailed expert prepared financial projections.
Identity and proof of good character of gambling equipment vendors.
Description of amenities, including number of hotel rooms (if any), restaurants and entertainment services and how these compare with such amenities provided by other area establishments.
Number of employees including detailed information as to pay rates.
Specific land on which the casino would be built.
Licensing fee payment bond or other evidence of ability to pay the $80 license fee.
Proposed system of internal accounting and security controls.
Studies as to available transportation, workforce, law enforcement, demographics, and zoning.
Study as to casino financial feasibility, gross and net revenues, tax projections, job and regional economic costs and benefits impact assessment, compatibility with existing regional branding and tourism.
All analyses and studies must be prepared by a casino economics expert.
Watchword for New Hampshire Legislators?
Thank you protecting our state,