For decades, efforts to expand gambling options have been unsuccessful in New Hampshire, despite that the number of casinos in the small New England state continues to grow as the Boston Billiard Club & Casino opened in Nashua on Friday.
The former Boston Billiard Club located on Northeastern Boulevard in Nashua had a soft opening on November 4th, prior to what will be its Grand Opening celebration slated for 5:30pm on Thursday, November 10, at which time it will also officially unveil its new name, according to the casino’s event page on Facebook. Along with the renaming, the club has expanded its gaming offering to include blackjack, 15 poker tables, and five roulette pits. Earlier last week, the club made the announcement with State of New Hampshire Racing and Charitable Gaming Commission.
Jeffrey Smith, operation manager of the casino, told NH1 News Network that the owner of what was a pool hall has been in possession of a license for some time and the opportunity presented itself with the closing of Rockingham Park on the last day of August this past summer. The racetrack had been a staple in the community for nearly 110 years, with live horse racing taking place until 2010, and then the area being considered for the state’s first-ever casino. The park, that ran its first race in June 1906, was put up for sale after state lawmakers once again denied efforts to expand gambling.
License and regulation of the Nashua casino falls under the state’s Racing and Charitable Gaming Commission, as did the horse racing venue and as all of New Hampshire’s other card rooms do. Such venues are classified as charitable gaming institutions, which translates to state non-profits being the recipients of a large part of their revenues. Currently, 10 such facilities operate throughout the state; with 55 percent of the revenue generated by them going towards management and operating costs, 10 percent going to the state’s coffers, and local charities receiving the remaining 35 percent.
Smith told the news agency that the casino will choose as many Nashua-based charities as it can. The first of which, the Boys and Girls Club of Nashua, will receive the proceeds from the first ten days of the casino’s operation. Smith said, “It’s the biggest charity in Nashua,” Smith and, “That was the one that we really wanted to come out of a bang with, and they’re really excited to be a part of it.”