TwinSpires Online Horse Betting Comes Under Legal Scrutiny In New Hampshire

Written By Derek Helling on April 14, 2022
Under Scrutiny Is TwinSpires new Hampshire From States Attorney General

The New Hampshire Lottery has a statewide monopoly on legal sports betting. It now believes it should have the same power when it comes to betting on horse races online. For that reason, the state’s attorney general’s office is now looking into TwinSpires, New Hampshire.

A lottery executive says the state is losing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue. Whether the AG’s office will turn its operation in the state from gray to black is uncertain, though.

TwinSpires New Hampshire running afoul of lottery interests

New Hampshire Lottery Executive Director Charlie McIntyre recently told Adam Sexton of WMUR that TwinSpires takes online bets on horse races in the state in a “grey area.”

“They are not regulated by us, nor do they operate within the confines of state law,” McIntyre stated.

“It is a gray area of concern for us because all of the gambling in this state happens through us. We license or regulate it. In this case, neither.”

To McIntyre’s point, that’s how DraftKings takes online sports bets in New Hampshire. It has a license from the lottery to do so.

McIntyre says he approached TwinSpires’ owner, Churchill Downs Inc., about resolving the issue. So far, though, there is no change. McIntyre says the amount of money the state has been losing out on comes to hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

While attempts to cut a deal with TwinSpires seem unfruitful so far, that might be on the table soon. The Lottery has been successful in enlisting the aid of the state government.

Attorney general to take a closer look at TwinSpires

The state’s attorney general, John M. Formella, says that his office will look into the Lottery’s complaint. Sexton reports a comment from the office.

“The New Hampshire Dept. of Justice takes questions of potentially illegal activity related to gambling in the state very seriously. We have been made aware of concerns related to Churchill Downs’ TwinSpires app and are reviewing them.”

Whether the AG will take any action remains uncertain. It will all depend on the interpretation of existing laws and the ability to prosecute Churchill Downs in accordance with them.

At the very least, though, TwinSpires’ operation in the state is under scrutiny for now.

Photo by Gregory Bull / Associated Press
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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