It has become official: DraftKings Sportsbook is on its way to the Granite State.
Mere days before Thanksgiving, the New Hampshire Executive Council approved the contract between DraftKings and the New Hampshire Lottery. Thanks to that Nov. 25 approval, New Hampshire and DraftKings can begin legal sports betting plans in earnest.
“Fresh off a victory in New Hampshire,” as he put it, DraftKings Chief Compliance Officer Tim Dent said the bookmaker could launch the state’s online sportsbook “some time” in January, thus making New Hampshire the ninth state with regulated mobile wagering.
Movement in New Hampshire sports betting is a win for all
Dent called it a win, and it certainly was for DraftKings. But New Hampshire also pockets a victory, as Gov. Chris Sununu noted in a press release.
“We moved fast to get this done, and the deal is a win for New Hampshire,” Sununu said. “We are partnering with a world-class company to provide a first-rate customer service experience. With today’s vote, everyone will now be able to bet on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in time for this year’s Super Bowl.”
Added New Hampshire Lottery Executive Director Charlie McIntyre:
“The introduction of sports betting will broaden the appeal of the New Hampshire Lottery and engage new and existing customers, while generating millions of dollars in additional revenue to support education. We are working directly with DraftKings to implement a sports betting system that both engages players, while also ensuring all appropriate safeguards are in place.”
DraftKings offered what New Hampshire Lottery couldn’t refuse
DraftKings was selected as the lottery’s sports betting partner following a competitive bidding process.
The field of bidders appears as a who’s who of top bookmakers in the country, as the likes of Kambi, FanDuel Sportsbook, William Hill, BetAmerica and Roar, among others, were also considered.
Using a scoring system that values each company’s mobile, retail and lottery capabilities, the New Hampshire Lottery determined DraftKings as the most suitable partner based on the “best financial package, the most highly rated mobile sports betting app, and the fastest implementation timeline,” per the release.
Under the approved contract, the state lottery would land 50% of gaming revenue from sports betting sales, which would go toward New Hampshire education. DraftKings intends to integrate New Hampshire into its singular app that runs in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Indiana, thus allowing customers to use the DraftKings shared wallet.
Of course, DraftKings will have to configure its app to meet the regulations set forth by the lottery, such as an age restriction that requires users to be at least 18 years old to wager.
Additionally, as in New Jersey, New Hampshire prohibits betting on college events featuring universities from the state or on events staged in New Hampshire.
What about retail sports betting in New Hampshire?
In July 2019, Sununu signed legislation that allowed the New Hampshire Lottery to conduct sports betting, not only online, but also in as many as 10 physical locations around the state.
Certainly, the mobile app will launch first in New Hampshire, and Dent said the retail aspect still has some figuring out to do.
“We committed to a minimum of four retail locations, but there may be more to that,” Dent said. “We just completed a tour of various cities in New Hampshire and looking at potential partners and locations. It’s still being formulated as it relates to the retail configuration. It may be that there will be different configurations in different locations.”
In the meantime, DraftKings — based out of nearby Boston — will set up a local office in New Hampshire. Down the road, this will allow DraftKings personnel to be closer to the New Hampshire action should issues arise with the online or retail products.
Sports betting on the way to New Hampshire
The sports betting legislation signed by Sununu allows individual communities in the state to ask voters if they should incorporate regulated retail wagering. So far, six cities have given the thumbs-up:
“We look forward to collaborating further with the New Hampshire Lottery to bring the DraftKings experience to sports fans in the Granite State,” Matt Kalish, co-founder of DraftKings, said in the release. “Our best-in-class mobile sportsbook and several retail locations throughout the state are sure to be a hit with all types of customers as legalized sports betting continues to expand across the country.”
Now, New Hampshire can begin its sprint toward a DraftKings mobile launch.
Said Dent: “It’s a win for New England.”