New Hampshire on Friday became the sixth state this year to legalize sports betting when Governor Chris Sununu signed a bill that will allow state-wide mobile sports betting, as well as sports betting at physical locations throughout the state. The new law prohibits betting on New Hampshire college teams, and according to the Associated Press, sports betting is expected to generate $7.5 mm in 2021 for educational programs and $13.5 mm by 2023.
Sununu, who all but mandated that the state’s General Court legalize sports betting, is looking forward to placing the first bet, though he didn’t say what he’ll bet on or when that might be.
“The only rule is, I want to place the first bet,” Sununu the AP quoted Sununu as saying.
Cap on licenses, but online-only legal
The Granite State will cap the number of sports betting licenses at 10 for physical locations and five for mobile apps. Stand-alone online sportsbooks will be legal, meaning that online operators don’t have to be tethered to an existing sportsbook. It would seem likely that daily fantasy and sports betting giants DraftKings, headquartered in neighboring Massachusetts, and FanDuel will be among those who apply for online-only licenses.
NEW: Consumers will soon be able to wager on sports in New Hampshire. Thanks to @GovChrisSununu’s signature, NH is now the 3rd previously non-gaming jurisdiction and 18th jurisdiction overall to authorize #sportsbetting. Our full statement: https://t.co/rtwWrtVIBC pic.twitter.com/y4245cxINt
— American Gaming Assn (@AmericanGaming) July 12, 2019
The New Hampshire Lottery will regulate sports betting, and the law allows for the lottery to have some of its own sports betting games. New Hampshire does not have any casinos, but sports “lounges” will be legal within the state and can placed within existing businesses, including bars or resort hotels, and gives individual municipalities the right to approve — or not — having a sports lounge within its borders.
No date for launch has been targeted, but it’s likely New Hampshire wouldn’t be able to launch before sometime in 2020 at the earliest. The lottery must now develop regulations, prospective licensees will have to go through a Request for Proposal process, according to the Concord Monitor, and physical venues must be built and employees trained.
Montana, Iowa, Indiana, Tennessee and Illinois legalized earlier this year. New Hampshire becomes the second New England state with legal sports betting — Rhode Island legalized in June 2018 and the state’s two physical sportsbooks began taking bets after Thanksgiving last year. The state is planning to launch mobile sports betting by the start of football season.
Since the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act on May 14, 2018, 14 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized or launched sports betting. There is also legal sports betting at two tribal locations in New Mexico, and the Oregon Lottery is preparing to launch a sports betting game in the fall.
It appears North Carolina could be the next state to legalize, although the current bill on the House floor would only allow sports betting at two tribal locations.