Planning Board Postpones Hearing on Proposed Charitable Casino in Lebanon, Awaiting Traffic Analysis

Planning Board Postpones Hearing on Proposed Charitable Casino in Lebanon, Awaiting Traffic AnalysisBefore considering a proposed charitable casino and restaurant on Miracle Mile, city officials want to see additional traffic data. On Monday, the Planning Board was scheduled to hold a public hearing in Lebanon, New Hampshire, but decided to postpone it until June 12. The local planning board rescheduled the hearing for the third time since February in order to give city officials more time to review and discuss the proposal.

Study Concludes That the Charitable Casino Would Have Little to No Impact on Traffic

Before city officials greenlight the charitable casino, they want to examine how the establishment would affect traffic in the area. According to a study submitted in February by Vanasse & Associates of Andover, the charitable gaming casino would have an inconspicuous impact on traffic and would not affect motorist delays. According to the study, the establishment could operate without causing traffic congestion, but city officials should ensure sufficient driving lane widths and proper traffic signage.

The study revealed that the charitable casino would generate around 1,038 vehicle trips per day. Around 76 vehicle trips would be generated on Fridays between 6 and 8 p.m. and 54 vehicle trips on Saturdays between 4 and 8 p.m. The traffic analysis is based on traffic volumes at the Wonder Casino in Keene, N.H., because it is very similar in size to the charitable casino project, as traffic engineers at Vanasse & Associates explained.

But a review of the study conducted by the Manchester firm Weston & Sampson questioned the accuracy of the study. In April, traffic engineer Jeffrey Santacruce asked whether the study took into account traffic from other casinos. He recommended that the study uses traffic volume numbers from comparable gambling venues, such as Fiotmo Casinos and the Lebanon Poker Room.

In a written response, the engineer noted that the Wonder Casino has no dedicated parking lot. That is why it is hard to estimate the traffic volume. Santacruce also suggested the study to examine traffic and potential impact at the Interstate 89 Exit 19 ramp.

Details about the Proposed Charitable Casino in Lebanon

The owners of the Lebanon Poker Room want to move their charitable gambling venue from 45 Hanover Street to 369 Miracle Mile, which was formerly a Honda dealership owned by Jonathan Gengras. The proposal seeks to establish a gambling venue with 111 electronic gaming machines, 90 gaming tables, and a 41-seat restaurant and bar.

According to reports, Gengras will remain the property owner, but he will lease it to Stefan Huba, a casino development consultant, who will manage the Miracle Mile casino. If city officials approve the project, this would be the second charitable casino in Lebanon.

Under New Hampshire law, “charitable gaming” is state-regulated, and operators must donate 35% of their revenue to non-profit organizations. In New Hampshire, charitable gaming can include poker, bingo, roulette, blackjack, and other casino games.

Currently, the initiators of the charitable casino project are seeking a conditional permit to use 14 parking spaces at 351 Miracle Mile in order to meet the city’s minimum parking space requirement for the gambling venue.