Gambling in NH Exposed?
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Written by SeacoastNH Archive

Guest at Wentworth by the Sea/ Portsmouth athenaeum photoSeacoastNH.com Presents
Historic Portsmouth #262

These patrons of Wentworth by the Sea were enjoying an innocent game of cards during the Cold War era. But the game turned into a "raid" on August 27, 1960 when, acting on a tip from a guest, New Castle police and a state trooper burst into "The Ship" and rousted wealthy patrons. (continued below)

 

Witnesses recall that a number of wealthy guests, unwilling to risk the stigma of an arrest, ran from the hall, even leapt from the windows. Two employees were taken into custody and $52.35 in change was taken as evidence. The raid apparently revolved around a used slot machine that owner Margaret Smith had purchased in Florida and added to the festivities at the hotel’s annual Casino Night. The hotel was issued a $25 fine and had its liquor license revoked, but not for long. "We got it back," Margaret Smith remembered, "because our next convention was a police convention, and they had to have a bar." (Photo courtesy of the Portsmouth Athenaeum)

Casino Night at Wentwoth by the Sea around 1960/Portsmouth Athenaeum photo

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