New Hampshire Officially Legalizes Sports Betting

Sports betting is legal in New Hampshire. Soon, visitors and residents 18 or older will be able to visit legal sportsbooks and use betting apps to place wagers in a regulated environment.

HB 480 was approved by the legislature in June and Governor Sununu was expected to sign the bill due to his previous statements in support of sports betting. On Friday, Governor Sununu signed the bill as anticipated to make legal sports betting the law of the land. In-person and mobile sports betting is coming to New Hampshire.

“With the exciting new addition of sports betting, the New Hampshire Lottery will continue to drive critical revenue, putting even more money into our educational system,” Sununu said in a statement. “Today’s action will provide financial support and important resources to help our public education system, which will benefit every child in every school across the state—a win for New Hampshire.”

With Sununu signing it into law, New Hampshire becomes the 16th state to pass a law legalizing sports betting. If we include New Mexico where tribal casinos have launched sportsbooks without waiting for the state to pass legislation, that makes it 17 states in total that have either passed legislation or that already have operational sportsbooks.

What This Means for Sports Betting in New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Lottery Commission will be charged with regulating the industry and will do so through the newly created Division of Sports Wagering. The state will issue 15 sports betting licenses in total – 10 to retail sportsbooks and five for online and mobile betting.

Most state that have legalized sports betting to date have limited retail sportsbooks to existing casinos, but New Hampshire will be taking a different approach due to not have any full-fledged casinos.

In-person betting will instead be offered through other locations to be selected by the lottery commission. Additionally, retail sportsbooks will only be authorized in municipalities that approve the construction of sportsbooks via public referendum.

The mobile component of the law could be a real benefit to the state early on with all three neighboring states not having legalized sports betting (yet). Massachusetts is expected to pass legislation in 2020 while there is nothing currently in the works in Vermont. Maine has passed a bill, but the governor is planning to look it over and make a decision early next year.

Other notable highlights of the bill include:

  • Sets the minimum age to bet on sports at 18
  • In-play betting allowed, but only through online/mobile apps
  • College betting allowed, but not on local schools or college games played in-state
  • Mobile sportsbooks operators will be required to enforce daily, weekly and monthly deposit limits

Looking Forward

Licenses will not be first-come, first-serve but will be made available via a competitive bidding process. This process is not expected to begin until January 2020. With the bidding process not set to start until January, the target launch date is for July 1 of next year.

Early projections have the state bringing in an extra $11.25 million in state revenue over the first year.

Next, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission will establish the Sports Wagering Division and begin establishing additional regulations to govern sports betting. Retail sportsbooks and mobile betting operators will be chosen through a two-part bidding process.

First, the Sports Wagering Division will select a group of operators that can demonstrate financial and technical suitability. From there, the division will select bids from all applicants and choose those who can deliver the most revenue to the state.

Major operators such as DraftKings, FanDuel, Rush Street Interactive (parent company of BetRivers.com), William Hill and PointsBet are among the most likely contenders to submit bids. All five are active in other states and have demonstrated a desire to further expand their US operations.