Gambling Legislation

New casino coming to New Hampshire following local approvals

New casino coming to New Hampshire following local approvals

Officials in Nashua, New Hampshire, have agreed to allow a casino to come to the city

The proposal to build a charitable casino at the site of the former Sears store in Nashua, New Hampshire, will move forward after the Nashua Planning Board recently voted 4-to-1 to approve the project.

Two Nashua casinos, The Lucky Moose Casino & Tavern and The River Casino & Sports Bar, will transfer their licenses to the new facility. The 169,000-square-foot two-story property will provide over 1,000 historic horse race (HHR) machines and a variety of table games.

ECL Entertainment and Clairvest are the casino project’s developers. ECL operates several Kentucky HHR venues, while Clairvest is a private equity firm based in Toronto. The proposed site has been vacant for three years and occupies the southeastern corner of the Pheasant Lane Mall, which is owned by the Simon Property Group.

During the planning board’s review, residents expressed concerns about how emergencies at the casino would be handled by law enforcement. One potential problem is that the facility’s parking area is in Tyngsborough, MA, on the other side of the New Hampshire state line.

Others were concerned that the casino would conflict with current businesses at the mall. Local resident Bill Ohm told WMUR in Manchester, “It seems to me that an adult entertainment center [placed] into one of the five big box stores, the vacant Sears store, is way out of character with the master plan, and I think it’s way out of character with the mall, which [is] a family-friendly shopping center.”

However, other residents support the new casino. Local business owner Stefan Hausberger said, “I think having a casino in the mall is outside-the-box thinking. But I believe, in the end, it will be a shot in the arm to the Daniel Webster Highway and the retail, restaurants, and what have you, down there.”

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