Current Sports Betting Status: LEGAL BUT NOT YET OPERATIONAL
*(Updated on October 2, 2019)
Sports betting in New Hampshire became legal in June 2019. In what became something of a trend in 2019, the passage of House Bill 480 (HB480) was fairly smooth. After watching the likes of New Jersey and Delaware fight hard for their right to offer regulated sports betting, New Hampshire’s legal chambers wanted a quicker resolution.
Fortunately, with those states and others putting in the groundwork and setting a precedent, that wasn’t hard. After the House received HB480 in January, it started to gain traction. By March, a report supporting the bill was published and that allowed it to go before the Ways and Means Committee. After pinging back-and-forth between the House and Senate for amendments, a final draft was voted on in June.
The Senate made three key amendments during its final vote, something the House (as the originator of HB480) had to agree on. Once the House concurred, legal sports betting in New Hampshire was a lock. All that was needed to set the regulatory wheels in motion was a signature from Governor Chris Sununu. That came on July 16 and, with that, New Hampshire bookmakers were no longer illegal.
With a legal framework in place, the New Hampshire Lottery assumed control of the industry. Under the terms of HB480, the Lottery will be in charge of regulating, licensing and overseeing the integrity of New Hampshire’s sports betting industry. In practice, HB480 sets out provisions for 10 retail bookmakers and five New Hampshire online sports betting sites. Additionally, one of the most interesting aspects of this state’s sports betting laws is that the legal minimum age will be 18 instead of 21.
New Hampshire Sports Betting Timeline
How did New Hampshire sportsbooks become a reality? As we’ve said, the process wasn’t a long-drawn-out affair. Within six months, both the House and Senate agreed to follow the likes of Pennsylvania and make betting on sports legal in New Hampshire.
January 2019 – House Bill 480 (HB480) is introduced. Two scheduled hearings were pushed back before it was finally read by House representatives in February.
March 2019 – Following three work sessions in February, a minority subcommittee report and a majority subcommittee report were published in March. The former suggested that New Hampshire sports betting laws were unsuitable while the other sought to pass HB480 without amendment. It was the latter that received a favorable vote.
April 2019 – With the House happy that regulated sports betting was viable, the Senate got to work on the bill. A few tweaks saw the bill pass through the Senate in May and finally go before a vote in June.
June 2019 – Happy that betting on sports would benefit New Hampshire, the Senate prepared to vote. HB480 ultimately received support from the chamber but with some amendments. The main issues addressed were the ways in which customers placed mobile bets (geolocation provisions), the number of licensees (making sure it allowed multiple online operators), wagering limits and the types of operators granted a license (only reputable brands).
July 2019 – Once the House concurred with the amendments, HB480 was sent to Governor Sununu. Having been supportive of the efforts up until that point, he eventually signed the bill on July 16, making regulated sports betting sites in New Hampshire a reality.
Where Can I Bet on Sports in New Hampshire?
At present, the New Hampshire Lottery hasn’t licensed any operators. A bidding process will take place, during which the regulator will assess the business credentials of each candidate. It’s expected that the first New Hampshire sportsbooks will go live in 2020.
However, as a customer, you can expect to find five online/mobile New Hampshire sportsbooks and 10 retail outlets. These provisions have been made clear in HB480, as has the clause that anyone aged 18+ can bet on sports within state lines.
An important aspect to note about land-based sports betting locations in New Hampshire is that they will first have to be approved by local voters. Cities such as Seabrook, Nashua, Concord, Manchester, Laconia, Franklin, Berlin, and Dover have all put retail sports betting on their next ballot. Most cities will have their vote in November of 2019. The New Hampshire Lottery is currently accepting bids for sportsbook operators, but it will have to be after November before they decide which businesses will set up shop where. Seabrook, on the other hand, will have to wait until March 2020 to be able to vote and approve a legal New Hampshire sportsbook in their area.
What are the best legal sportsbooks in New Hampshire?
At this stage, we can’t say which retail or online sports betting sites are the best in New Hampshire as none have gone live. What we do know, however, is that each one will be overseen by the state lottery. This means you can be confident that each of New Hampshire’s 15 sportsbooks will be highly regulated, highly reputable and of the highest quality.
What are the top legal online betting sites in New Hampshire?
Again, we can’t answer this question until the first sites go live. However, as a consumer, you’ll have the choice of five New Hampshire mobile betting sites.
Given what we already know about other US sports betting states, FanDuel, 888, William Hill and GVC will likely compete for a license. What’s more, under the terms of HB480, in-play betting will be available online (not offline or for collegiate sports) and remote registration is possible.
New Hampshire Sports Betting FAQ
What is the legal sports betting age in New Hampshire?
Unlike other US sports betting states, New Hampshire bookmakers can take bets from customers aged 18 or older.
What is the New Hampshire sports betting tax rate?
Based on early projections, licensed NH sportsbooks are expected to contribute between $1.5 million and $7.5 million in tax revenue on an annual basis.
Can I bet on sports online in New Hampshire?
Yes! Thanks to some last-minute tweaks, New Hampshire will license five online operators. This means you’ll be able to bet on sports via your mobile within state lines.