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New Hampshire Sports Betting Bill Seeks Expanded Market, More Sportsbooks

Recently introduced legislation in New Hampshire seeks to amend the state’s regulations on sports betting to further grow the budding market.

Should a new bill become law in New Hampshire, there could be more DraftKings retail sportsbooks coming to the state. Its Manchester sportsbook opened in September at the Filotimo Casino. (Image: Yogonet)

New Hampshire became the 14th state to launch legal sports betting in December of 2019. Gov. Chris Sununo (R), a supporter of the gambling activity, placed the first wager through his mobile device.

Since New Hampshire is not home to any commercial casinos, but does have two charitable casino locations, the state legalized sports betting online. Despite the first year being impeded by COVID-19, New Hampshire lawmakers are more than pleased with the benefits sports betting has delivered the state.

Sports betting has been hugely successful in New Hampshire,” state Rep. Tim Lang (R-Belknap) told The Center Square.

The New Hampshire Lottery, which oversees sports betting in the state, says more than $225.7 million has been wagered on sports since July. Oddsmakers have kept approximately $18.4 million of the handle.

Legislation Would Expand Retail Betting

New Hampshire held a competitive bidding process for sportsbook operators to win licensure in the state.

DraftKings was the high bidder, offering the state to split gross gaming revenues from sports betting with the government, so long as it was afforded a monopoly. New Hampshire signed off on the DraftKings offer.

Anyone aged 18 or older located inside the state can create a DraftKings account online and place a bet. In-game wagering is also available on the internet. But it’s not at the state’s current two retail sportsbooks.

Two charitable casinos in New Hampshire — The Brook in Seabrook and Filotimo Casino & Restaurant in Manchester — have both incorporated DraftKings sportsbooks. But the brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and wagering kiosks do not offer live in-game odds.

Lang, who sponsored the state’s original sports betting bill, says that was an unfortunate oversight and needs changed.

“It makes zero sense,” Land stated. “I could literally be sitting in the casino, where I could place a bet before the game started. But once the game started, I would have to take out my phone to place another bet.”

Along with allowing retail sportsbooks to take in-play bets, Lang’s new bill — HB 330 — would do away with the cap on the number of retail sports betting locations. The current law limits the number of locations to 10.

That likely has to do with the New Hampshire Lottery wishing to bring sports betting to retail lottery locations. The lottery has trademarked Sports 603 — the number representing the state’s only telephone area code.

A Record Month

December was New Hampshire’s best sports betting month since it went live a year earlier. Oddsmakers took in over $51.6 million in wagers.

As is the case in other states with legal mobile sports betting, online is where the vast majority of the action is at. Last month, DraftKings accepted nearly $43.7 million in bets via the internet, or about 84.5 percent of the handle.

New Hampshire neighbors do not currently offer sports betting. Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts have all yet to legalize sports betting. Nearby New York has, but only in its four upstate brick-and-mortar commercial casinos. State lawmakers and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) are trying to change that and allow mobile betting.

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