What seemed like one of the most likely states to legalize online casino in 2024 won’t even have a bill.
New Hampshire Sen. Tim Lang told PlayUSA he will not file an online casino bill for 2024.
Over the summer, Lang informed PlayUSA of a breakthrough in support for internet gaming legislation from the brick-and-mortar charitable casinos that operate in the state. He was all set to file a New Hampshire online casino bill that he thought would pass in 2024.
But leadership informed him that his language wouldn’t qualify for consideration in the New Hampshire House next year.
“Due to the New Hampshire House using a procedural motion called ‘indefinite postponement,’ I am barred from bringing the topic back up in 2024,” Lang said. “While this is a setback, I will endeavor to bring the bill forward again in 2025.”
Why lawmaker can’t introduce NH online casino bill in 2024
Lang introduced New Hampshire online casino legislation for the first time in 2023.
With revenue going to community college scholarships, Lang got the bill through the New Hampshire Senate. But it wasn’t easy. The bill originally failed by a single vote on the Senate floor. But Senate President Jeb Bradley supported passage and held a revote in which it passed by one vote.
However, the House Ways and Means Committee ended hopes of passage not only for 2023 but for 2024 as well.
To counter the indefinite postponement, Lang would have had to file a bill that qualified as “substantially different” than its predecessor.
What qualifies for such a distinction is up to House leadership. After the New Hampshire Charitable Gaming Operators Association doomed the bill with opposition in the House committee came to Lang this summer willing to work on a bill, he was hopeful that the changes would qualify as substantially different.
But, at the end of the day, it was still an online casino bill.
NH gaming study could help for 2025
Although New Hampshire won’t be considering an iGaming bill in 2024, online casino could still make progress in the state.
Lang said that he will be serving on a Gaming Study Commission to review all New Hampshire laws and regulations to see where the state should go next.
The commission will soon release a request for proposals to hire an industry expert to consult on producing a study. And Lang is sure that the prospects for iGaming in New Hampshire will be a big part of the results.
As part of the commission, Lang will be able to help frame the study. Then he can take the results to inform colleagues of the benefits online casino legalization can bring to New Hampshire.