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New Hampshire Next To Legalize Sports Betting?

The New Hampshire Senate again approved sports betting in the state this past week. This time, the bill will be headed back to the House for concurrence.

The Senate approved two amendments that were made to the bill, H 480, to go along with previous amendments.

The author of the bill, Representative Timothy Lang, told Legal Sports Report that he expects the bill to get concurrence in one of the next two floor sessions in the House. That means as soon as June 5 or possibly the following week.

It only took a few minutes for all of the amendments in the bill to get approval. That is a good sign for the bill moving forward. It appears New Hampshire officials realize the importance of bringing legal sports betting to the state as quickly as possible.

Mobile Amendments

One amendment to the bill includes limiting the number of mobile operators in the state to five. The bill also addresses the Wire Act concern so that “mobile sports wagers must be initiated and received within the geographic borders of the state of New Hampshire and may not be intentionally routed outside of the state. The incidental intermediate routing of mobile sports wagers shall not determine the location or locations in which such a wager is initiated, received or otherwise made.”

The bill authorizes the lottery commission to conduct sports betting in the state directly or through authorized agents, both mobile and retail. If passed, the bill would allow for remote registration for mobile betting, which is something that is key to maximizing the market. The bill does not require an integrity fee, and there is no mandate for the use of official league data.

Under the bill, live in-play wagers would not be permitted at retail betting locations, only through mobile platforms. Wagering on New Hampshire collegiate events is prohibited, as is betting on any collegiate events taking place in New Hampshire. The bill would also create the Division of Sports Wagering, within the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, and they would serve as the regulatory body for sports betting.

The Next Steps

The House Ways and Means Committee will make the recommendation on concurrence. The changes made to the bill are not expected to cause any problems. However, if for some reason the House does not concur with the changes made by the Senate, the bill would then go to a conference committee in order to work out the differences between the two chambers.

Governor Chris Sununu has already included $10 million in sports betting revenue in his state budget. H 480 should make its way to the governor’s desk without any more issues. Once it does, Sununu will be all but guaranteed to sign it. New Hampshire very well could be the next state to legalize sports betting in 2019. Vermont is currently the only state in the Northeast that has not made any serious attempt to legalize sports betting.

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