Keno Tax Bill Approved by New Hampshire Congress

by Jim Hall

The New Hampshire Congress has approved a new keno tax bill during a bipartisan vote yesterday.

In the United States, gamblers have a mixed bag when it comes to games available for wagering. Every state offers something different or nothing at all. Individual states have the ability to decide what they want to offer and create legislation to do so. In New Hampshire, the subject of debate involving gambling recently includes the game of keno. Legislators seem to be on board and have given approvals to see the game authorized in the state.

Greenlight Given

Both chambers of Congress have approved a proposal that will impose taxes on keno games that have been newly authorized in the state. A bipartisan vote took place yesterday in which the taxes will be created to help with education funds.

New Hampshire Governor Chris SununuAccording to local news reports, the bill will see the creation of a fund that will include money paid via keno taxes. The money will be used to fund kindergarten classes. Children will be able to attend full day classes with money provided by this fund. The bill must now be signed into law by Governor Chris Sununu, who has made kindergarten expansion a policy issue that he cares greatly about. It would not be surprising to see the governor approve the measure.

It was believed that the measure would not be supported in legislature but the republican-backed measure has seen great support. The House Representatives voted in favor of the bill, 251-111, while the Senate decided to approve the measure as well with a vote of 15 to 8.

In most cases, democrats are the ones in approval of bills related to gambling. We usually see republicans going against such measures. So, the fact that this bill is backed by republicans is quite odd. In the past, republicans have been opposed to the state funding kindergarten with keno games but they have decided to support this measure, SB 191, partly due to Sununu’s initiative for better kindergarten programs.

What’s The Plan?

Democrats in the state were opposed to the measure due to the fact that they felt it did not go far enough to help with education. Currently each student in kindergarten enrollment is granted $1,800. When looking at half-day programs, the democrats have stated that the amount is only half of what was being considered as an adequacy grant of $3,600 which was to be used for kids in 1 to 12th grade.

Democrats of the state wanted to see the second half of the day fully funded at $1,800. The money from keno would go to the Education Trust Fund of the state. However, the bill only guarantees that $1,100 will be provided to each student a year with the tax revenues from Keno.

Sununu seems happy with the new bill despite the lack of support from democrats. Governor Sununu stated that the investments made today will give the children of New Hampshire a strong foundation for tomorrow’s future. Sununu feels that full day kindergarten is good for children as well as families and is a critical tool to retain the future workforce for the state.

Overall, the children of the state will benefit from the keno tax. It will be interesting to see if Sununu will approve the measure and just how much money will be provided for each child of the state to be able to attend the kindergarten programs. This is just one example of how an individual state uses gambling in order to fund much needed programs, including those for education.