Legal sports betting is officially on its way to New Hampshire. New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed a sports betting bill, H 480, into law nearly a month after the bill was passed in the House.
New Hampshire has no casinos or racetracks within its borders, so sports betting will be allowed at up to 10 retail locations. The state will also allow for mobile sports betting, up to five operators. This is key for New Hampshire as it will help drive in revenue from other states.
All three states bordering New Hampshire are currently without legal sports betting. Maine passed a sports betting bill onto the governor last month, but she yet to sign it, and the future of the bill is currently unknown. Massachusetts made some noise this year in its efforts to legalize sports betting, but nothing came of it. The city of Boston is 30 miles from the New Hampshire border and about 45 miles from Rhode Island (which has legalized sports betting). Vermont doesn’t seem to be legalizing sports betting anytime in the near future.
Massachusetts is the key for New Hampshire. There are less than 1.4 million in people in New Hampshire. In Massachusetts, there are more than 6.4 million people. Add in nearly two million people from Maine and Vermont combined, and 8.4 of the 9.8 million people in the New Hampshire area come from out of state. Out-of-state residents represent nearly 86 percent of the possible customer base for New Hampshire, which is why mobile was a must.
Details Of The Bill
Under the bill, the Division of Sports Wagering will be created within the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, and they will regulate sports betting in the state. One interesting aspect of the bill is that there isn’t one distinct revenue-sharing agreement. Instead, under the law, the lottery can negotiate the terms with each individual licensee. Like most other states, in-state collegiate sports betting is not allowed, but the legal betting age in the state will only be 18, and in-play betting will only be allowed online.
Another key component of the bill for New Hampshire is allowing remote registration. Now out-of-state and even rural New Hampshire residents, don’t have to drive directly to a retail location to create a betting account. New Hampshire residents can create an account and bet from their homes, and out-of-state residents simply just need to cross over New Hampshire state lines to create an account and bet.
The bidding process for licenses in New Hampshire won’t begin until January of next year, meaning bettors will have to wait until after the 2019 NFL season to begin betting. However, some lawmakers in the state think sports betting could still be operating in early 2020. Although it appears a more reasonable launch date won’t be until June or July 2020. Starting in the fiscal year 2021, the bill projects over $11 million in annual revenue for the state from sports betting.