On Thursday the New Hampshire House voted to accept the changes to a bill made by the Senate that would legalize sports betting in the state. Now the bill will head to Governor Chris Sununu’s desk. Sununu is expected to sign it without any issues as he has shown support for this bill and legal sports betting as well. He has even included sports betting revenue in his state budget.
The major change that the Senate made is one that should excite all New Hampshire bettors. The Senate’s change made it so that regulatory systems could be in place to potentially have sports betting up and running by the beginning of 2020. Under the bill, both retail and mobile sports betting will be legalized.
Remote registration will be allowed for mobile betting, which is a huge plus. States that require in-person registration for mobile betting seem to be hindering revenue in their states by some estimates.
Estimates are that a mature New Hampshire sports betting market can bring in $7.5 million in revenue for the fiscal year 2021 and as much as $13.5 million the following year. The revenue earned from sports betting will be used to fund education in the state.
As with most states, professional and collegiate sports betting is allowed. However, betting on in-state schools is not permitted. The New Hampshire Lottery will be the state’s regulatory body for sports betting. A Division of Sports Wagering will also be created.
For a state with no professional sports teams, it was expected that New Hampshire wouldn’t fall victim to the “integrity fee.” There is also no requirement for the use of “official league data.”
New Hampshire will become the second New England state to legalize sports betting behind Rhode Island. Rhode Island has two physical sportsbooks in the state, and mobile betting is expected to be available by the start of the upcoming football season.
This is a big advantage for New Hampshire as only Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania currently has state-wide mobile sports betting. If New Hampshire can have their mobile betting up and running before the start of March Madness in 2020, they can attract bettors from neighboring Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts.
It appears legal sports betting won’t be coming to any of those states this year. Vermont has been silent on the issue, and Maine has already killed sports betting bills earlier this year. Massachusetts has been talking about the idea of legalizing sports betting, but so far no bills have begun to make their way through legislation.
The sooner New Hampshire can get state-wide mobile sports betting up and running, the better. Their biggest asset will be their neighboring states. If Massachusetts misses the boat this year, which seems likely, then New Hampshire stands to benefit more. There are less than 1.4 million people in New Hampshire, but there are over 8.3 million between Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts. The money is in the mobile for New Hampshire.