New Hampshire has long been a state regarded for its rugged independence. Its “live free or die” motto continues to permeate the Granite State’s approach to life and lawmaking to this day.
So, it’s no surprise that New Hampshire has launched legal online sports betting and will soon be home to as many as 10 retail sportsbooks.
In time for the NFL playoffs, the New Hampshire Lottery’s chosen partner, DraftKings Sportsbook, rolled out the first New Hampshire sports betting app Dec. 30, 2019.
New Hampshire is adding sports betting to a unique set of gaming operations in the state. Few other states have expanded charitable gaming like NH – most have simply legalized casinos outright.
Five cities in New Hampshire voted to approve sports betting. The following locations will allow retail sportsbooks inside their borders:
In addition, two towns, Dover and Rochester, have approved the addition of Keno to their lists of games. Keno is already widely available in many cities and towns throughout the state.
Four cities rejected the measure to allow sports betting. There will be no sportsbooks in Concord, Dover, Nashua, and Rochester for the time being.
Online sports betting made its New Hampshire debut on Dec. 30, 2019. However, online gambling tends to refer to online casinos and poker sites. Neither online casino play nor online poker is legal in the state of New Hampshire.
On the other hand, there are several other types of online gambling that are already active in NH. None is more prominent than the state’s iLottery.
Players have their choice between roughly two dozen electronic scratch-off games. New Hampshire bettors can wager as little as $0.10 a ticket on these games, and receive a near-instant result.
New Hampshire’s online lottery also permits mobile purchasing of multi-state lottery drawing tickets. So, players can buy entries to Powerball and Mega Millions from their phones, tablets, and computers.
Some inhabitants have had a bit of a sports betting primer already. Real-money daily fantasy sports is available in New Hampshire, and though it’s not quite the same as outright sports betting, it’s in the same neighborhood.
Another form of online gambling active in New Hampshire is sweepstakes sites. These sites host bona fide casino games, but due to their business model, qualify as a site not unlike Publishers Clearing House or the McDonald’s Monopoly promotion.
New Hampshire does maintain a law to protect its citizens against unscrupulous sweepstakes promotions. It prescribes that prizes must be available without requiring a purchase, and that the prizes must be delivered to the winner within 10 days of the announcement.
These sites are acceptable under these requirements for two reasons:
So, New Hampshire residents are able to play on the following sites:
Each site uses a unique two-currency system for purchasing. While a purchase is not required, it does speed the process along.
DraftKings Sportsbook is the chosen one to launch online sports betting in New Hampshire.
However, this wasn’t exactly a surprise. Months ago, the only hint about possible companies to open shop in New Hampshire was a scoring summary that the New Hampshire Lottery released in October 2019. The summary indicated that DraftKings seemed to be the most suitable candidate for operations in the state.
It’s not the first time for the company to debut online sports betting in an American state. DraftKings was the first online sportsbook to go live in New Jersey in 2018.
While New Hampshire residents await the arrival of sports betting, there are several options for wagering already in-state.
New Hampshire has chosen to expand its charitable gaming opportunities to almost every type of gambling under the sun. Remarkably, residents and visitors to the state can play poker, craps, blackjack, and other types of manually-dealt games administered by licensed charitable organizations.
The various locations throughout the state are home to more than 300 poker tables. Despite a $150 statewide buy-in cap and only being four years removed from a $4 maximum bet amount, the New Hampshire cardroom scene is thriving.
Interestingly enough, the one aspect of these that’s noticeably absent is slot machines. According to New Hampshire’s charitable gaming law, the use of any machines to do business is strictly prohibited.
At times, there have been several racetracks and off-track betting venues in the state of New Hampshire. Unfortunately, there is but one location active these days.
The only place that people in New Hampshire can wager on racing is at the New Seabrook Park, an off-track betting location. There is no live racing in New Hampshire at this time, although the new owners of New Seabrook Park plan to revive greyhound racing there.
New Hampshire is home to the first state-run lottery in the country. It began selling tickets in 1964.
Along with the iLottery, there are also numerous retail lottery opportunities throughout the state. Retail lottery fans in New Hampshire can choose from the following games:
One game that is particularly noteworthy in that list is Keno 603. Keno continues to spread across the state as more towns and cities approve its introduction.
So far, it has been incredibly popular. Since its introduction in 2017, the game’s sales have rocketed to $46.4 million, which is a remarkable figure for a state with a population of less than 1.4 million residents.
As mentioned, New Hampshire is home to a sizeable number of charitable casinos and sports bars. By law, these venues can offer games of chance that do not require machines to operate.
The result is that gambling in the state of New Hampshire is a hodgepodge of poker and table games. Residents and visitors can go to local sports bars and still find full-scale cardrooms and craps tables available.
Here are the 16 casino locations in New Hampshire. Games of chance are available at the following locations:
The reason that states allow gambling to proceed is universal. Simply put, it’s another source of revenue for the state budget.
In New Hampshire, the receipts from the New Hampshire Lottery – which oversees and aggregates all gambling in the state – go entirely to fund the state’s Education Trust Fund. By law, all revenues that exceed the Lottery’s operating costs have to transfer to the state’s school reserves.
In fact, there’s very little time for the Lottery to enjoy any of its proceeds or largess. The transfers to the school system must occur monthly.
Those contributions account for 4% of the Education Trust Fund’s annual budget. While that doesn’t sound like much, the state estimates that amount will exceed $100 million in FY 2019.
It’s important for states to maintain an active capability to address problem gambling. Unfortunately, New Hampshire falls quite short in this regard.
The only major problem gambling organization in the state is the New Hampshire Council on Problem Gambling (NHCPG). Despite its authoritative name, this group is neither affiliated with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) nor adequately funded by the state government.
According to the NCPG, the NHCPG receives a paltry $25,000 annual allotment from the state as its main source of income. The organization survives only through the steadfast efforts of its founder, Ed Talbot, and a few dedicated volunteers.
As it is, the NHCPG does maintain a few resources for gamblers who find themselves in troubling territory. Problem gamblers can phone 603-724-1605 to receive immediate assistance.
There is also a listing of all weekly Gamblers Anonymous meetings in the state and in neighboring locations. Bettors who are finding themselves in dire straits should be able to find a meeting nearby every week.
There is hope on the horizon, however. Part of the law that is bringing sports betting to New Hampshire calls for the establishment of a Council on Responsible Gambling.
By law, the allocated funds for this organization can reach up to $250,000. So, New Hampshire may be on the precipice of providing some true help for its citizens who are struggling with their own demons.
For New Hampshire residents who are struggling, do not wait. There are resources available, and it’s never too late to turn things around.
As a general rule, no. There are some sweepstakes sites that offer slot play to New Hampshire residents. However, as far as bona fide online casinos are concerned, it is less likely that slots will show up. The language in New Hampshire’s approach to gambling is far more favorable for table games and poker than any games that use a machine to operate.
There’s a decent chance. New Hampshire tends to adhere to a libertarian ethos, and it has shown no hesitation to adopt online sports betting as part of its most recent gambling expansion. If all goes well, it may start the conversation about further expansion into the online realm.
No. Any offers beyond the sweepstakes sites mentioned come from offshore online casinos. These sites operate outside the confines of New Hampshire or US law.
As such, a US player could find themselves without any recourse or protection if a dispute arose with one of these sites. It’s best to stay away.
When the US Supreme Court voted to dismiss the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, it seemed as though sports betting was immediately made legal across the country. However, what the decision actually accomplished was relegating the choice to offer sports betting back to each state’s legislature.
Several states have already allowed sportsbooks to open inside their borders. New Hampshire is joining a second wave of states to legalize sports betting, and its residents began with DraftKings in late 2019.
Yes. New Hampshire’s sports betting law allows for both online and retail sportsbooks. In fact, online sports betting went live with DraftKings before any retail sportsbook opened.
Yes. All major daily fantasy sports operators are active in New Hampshire.