New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu got his wish with just two days left in 2019. After months of expressing his desire to bet on the New England Patriots, he did just that, placing the ceremonial first legal sports bet in New Hampshire on Monday when DraftKings Sportsbook went live with its mobile sportsbook. Sununu, the 82nd governor of the state, placed an $82 bet on the Patriots to win the Super Bowl.
Sununu and former NFL player Rob Ninkovich kicked off the festivities at the Shoppers Pub + Eatery at Indian Head in Manchester. The former linebacker Ninkovich won two Super Bowls with the Patriots between 2009-16. The launch took place on a day during which the state was hit with power outages and ice due to a winter storm.
“Sports betting is the right bet for New Hampshire,” Sununu said in a statement. “We moved fast to get this done by partnering with a world-class company to provide a first-rate customer service experience and the state is poised to dominate the market. The launch of sports betting will also benefit our education system – a win for our kids.”
Sports betting is LIVE here in the Granite State! We moved fast to get this done to bet on the @Patriots in time for the Super Bowl. Thanks to a packed crowd at @ShoppersMHT for joining us despite the snow! pic.twitter.com/RQjTF94DG7
— Chris Sununu (@GovChrisSununu) December 30, 2019
DK Sportsbook live — exclusively — in Granite State
According to a Twitter report, the DraftKings app became available at about 2:30 p.m. ET, roughly a half an hour before official festivities were set to begin in the Granite State.
By mid-afternoon on Monday, the New Hampshire Lottery had already updated its website to reflect the new offering. A list of sports approved for sports betting includes cricket, lacrosse, and MMA as well as all pro sports, college basketball, college football and more.
— Boston Billiard Club (@BosBilliardClub) December 30, 2019
DraftKings is based in Boston, and New Hampshire is the company’s first New England operation.
“As a New England-based company, DraftKings is honored to launch our American-made sportsbook product in New Hampshire for the start of the NFL playoffs,” Matt Kalish, chief revenue officer and co-founder of DraftKings said via press release. “We want to thank Governor Sununu, (Lottery) Director (Charlie) McIntyre and the New Hampshire Lottery for their commitment to launching safe, legal sports betting as soon as possible and we look forward to working with them closely for many years to come.”
Despite getting responses from 13 potential operators for its sports betting Request for Proposal, the state gave DraftKings a monopoly on mobile and retail sports betting, though the Lottery will offer its own sports betting product with partner Intralot. DraftKings already operates mobile books in Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, and retail sportsbooks in several states, including Mississippi and New York.
DraftKings has plans to operate multiple physical sportsbooks throughout New Hampshire and voters in six cities and towns, including Manchester, have already approved having a sportsbook within their borders. The new law allows for up to five mobile operators and 10 physical locations.
New Hampshire is only the second New England state to go live with legal sports betting behind Rhode Island, which launched retail sports betting in late 2018 and mobile sports betting in the first half of 2019. Granite State lawmakers legalized sports betting in July, and despite having a limited gaming infrastructure, the lottery and DraftKings went live in less than six months.
The effect of @GovJanetMills refusing to sign legalized sports betting into law in Maine will be thousands of Mainers driving to New Hampshire starting tomorrow to legally bet on sports. That’ll do wonders for Maine’s economy. 🙄
— Chris (@NewEnglandChris) December 29, 2019
New Hampshire Governor @GovChrisSununu placed a respectable $82 wager to open sportsbetting in NH.
*nods in approval*
Of course, it was on New England. 30 minutes later, I'm sure DK is still waiting to take their first non-Patriots wager.
Keep waiting. 🙄
— Captain Jack Andrews (@capjack2000) December 30, 2019
The legal sports betting age in New Hampshire is 18, younger than age 21 as in the majority of state.
Bettors can wager on professional and college sports, but not New Hampshire collegiate teams or college events that take place within the state.
Among other New England states, lawmakers in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont have all taken up sports betting in past sessions, but none appear close to legalizing. New Hampshire is geographically well positioned to bring in bets from Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont, all of which border New Hampshire, and it is less than 30 miles from Boston to the closest spot on the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border.
In New Jersey and other states with state-wide mobile, geolocation companies have shown a fair amount of business being done by bettors who drive just over the border to place mobile bets are rest stops, on bridges and in other locations. It’s likely New Hampshire will see the same kind of action.