New Hampshire May Hamper Charitable Gaming

Lawmakers in New Hampshire are looking at regulations that might force small charitable gambling operations to call it quits rather than deal with onerous paperwork.

The New Hampshire House’s Ways and Means Committee is considering new regulations to charitable gaming that could force smaller operators to cease operating and cut how much charities actually make on the activity.

The Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority last fall delivered a document of proposed regulations to the legislature that would apply if lawmakers ever legalize gaming in the state.

Currently charity gaming is allowed and more than half of it occurs at the state’s two racetracks, Rockingham and Seabrook parks. Last year non-profits made $13 million from it.

Rep. Richard Ames, who chaired the Authority, penned the bill before the legislature. It would tighten restrictions on the handling and recording of charity money, require background checks and establish a commission to study charitable gaming.

The two racetracks, owned by the same company, have no problem with the proposal, but some smaller charities do. “Broad, expansive background checks will put the little guys out of business,” said one critic.