House Republicans in New Hampshire are putting the finishing touches on a bill that would provide for up to four casinos in the Granite State, including one at Rockingham Park.

Several versions of a pro-casino measure have been floated in the House, the latest of which, House Bill 593, would allow for two casinos with an amendment to double that number. The Republican-controlled House must have the votes to override a veto, as Gov. John Lynch has publicly promised to oppose any bill that expands gaming in the state.

Ken Weyler, chairman of the House Finance Committee, told the Eagle Tribune the amendment was designed to alleviate concerns the bill would create a casino monopoly. He added that at least one of the four casinos would have to be located in an economically disadvantaged area.

Fuelling newfound support for casinos is the expected impact of the legalization last fall of casino gaming in neighboring Massachusetts which cleared the way for three regional casinos and one slot parlor. A study by the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies has warned that casino gaming in Boston and Palmer would result in a loss of $73 million to the state.

Hearings on the issue begin Tuesday.