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 offers a unique slate of gambling options to its citizens and visitors.
For one thing, New Hampshire is now a full-service sports betting state. There are both retail and online sportsbook options available within the state’s borders.
New Hampshire also has a selection of gambling establishments that it calls “casinos.” In reality, these are sports bars with areas for poker and other table games. Quirkily enough, games that do not involve playing cards are not permitted at these (or any other) establishments in the state.
The page provides you with the latest updates on NH online gambling including how to play casino games at sweepstakes sites, types of gambling legal in the state and where to gamble.
Play online casino games or slots in New Hampshire
No. State law does not permit pure online casinos to operate inside New Hampshire. Any online casino site that says otherwise is operating outside the purview of both state and federal law.
However, there are a few options that New Hampshire residents can use if they want to get some great casino action. There are several social casino and sweepstakes casino sites that offer an experience similar or equivalent to the play that you’d find with a true online casino. The only differences are that most sweepstakes and social sites use a dual currency system and have ways for you to play for free. While the top social casino apps include Chumba Casino and Luckyland Slots, the top sweepstakes casino site in New Hampshire is Funzpoints.
Is any online gambling legal in New Hampshire?
Yes, it is possible to gamble online in New Hampshire, to a certain extent. Online sports betting has been active in the Granite State since 2019. However, online casinos and online poker remain out of reach for New Hampshire inhabitants.
We would also be remiss if we did not mention the New Hampshire iLottery. TheNew Hampshire Lottery offers several games that are playable online. These options are instant-win scratch-offs in virtual form. They are somewhere between the paper scratch-offs you use, a slot machine, and a video poker game.
Finally, New Hampshire residents can take advantage of the various sweepstakes and social casino sites that are active throughout the US. Here is a rundown of all the options for gambling online in the Granite State.
Can you play slots online in New Hampshire?
No. In fact, you cannot play slots in almost any capacity in New Hampshire. New Hampshire specifically prohibits “gambling machines” from operating inside state lines. However, there are a couple of acceptable options that might get close to the experience of playing on a slot machine.
The first opportunity for slot-like play is the iLottery offered by the New Hampshire Lottery. You can play a variety of instant-win games and virtual scratch-offs directly through the commission’s website. Some of New Hampshire’s casino locations may also offer lottery terminals that can be used in the same fashion. While they’re not slot machines and have significant differences in terms of presentation and approach, they can replicate some of the experience with regard to game speed and payouts.
The other type of slot-like play available in New Hampshire is through the sweepstakes sites mentioned above. Because sweepstakes sites are free to play and are not considered gambling under state law, you can play on the slot titles available on Chumba, Luckyland, Funzpoints, and Global. Although the dual currency systems on each site might be confusing at first, the mechanics of playing the games onsite will be remarkably similar to a typical slot machine.
In terms of prospects for legalization, there really isn’t much to report. New Hampshire lawmakers have turned their attention to sports betting for the time being, and it’s not clear if there are plans to expand into online casino play anytime soon. However, once sports betting is in its mature state, you never know where legislators might turn for a new revenue stream.
Is online poker legal in New Hampshire?
As is the case with online casinos, there are no legal or licensed NH online poker sites active at this time. Any site claiming to be legal New Hampshire poker room is operating in a gray zone in the law and has several risks associated with it – we’ll cover those below.
While New Hampshire may think about legalizing online poker in the future, you do have the option of playing on a sweepstakes poker site in the meantime. Like the sites mentioned previously, sweepstakes poker sites must be free to play and give away the prizes they advertise.
The best of the sweepstakes poker sites is Global Poker. Global is owned by the same company behind Chumba, and Luckyland, and uses a unique dual currency system to stay in the good graces of sweepstakes law.
Does New Hampshire have legal online sportsbooks?
Yes. Both daily fantasy sports (DFS) and New Hampshire sports betting are legal. Both practices have been enshrined into law via signatures from Gov. Chris Sununu. Sununu even pushed for a quick launch of sports betting in the state and placed the first sports wager. So, in general, the folks in charge of New Hampshire have a positive view of wagering on sporting events.
New Hampshire legalized DFS in 2017. HB 580-FN-A was the brainchild of Rep. Gary Azarian, but had bipartisan sponsors in both the House and Senate. The bill authorized the New Hampshire Lottery Commission to oversee the DFS industry and required operators to register with the state. However, favorably for the companies themselves, there was no tax or fee required to set up shop. So, most of the big names in DFS, including DraftKings and FanDuel, are well-established in New Hampshire.
Sports betting became legal in New Hampshire in 2019. After the US Supreme Court declared the federal ban on intrastate sports betting unconstitutional, the gears began to turn in the Granite State. Rep. Timothy Lang’s HB 480-FN made its way to Sununu’s desk and was signed off during the summer of 2019. The law called for the inclusion of both online and retail sports betting, and both types of sports betting are now up and running in the state.
New Hampshire witnessed its first online sportsbook launch in December 2019 when DraftKings Sportsbook opened its virtual doors in the Granite State. DraftKings is the only provider to offer online sports betting in the state. However, the New Hampshire Lottery’s strategic partner, Intralot, has also been authorized to operate a sports betting site inside state lines. It has yet to do so, but DraftKings is unlikely to be the only player in the game for too much longer.
Will New Hampshire regulate online gambling in the future?
It’s hard to say. As is the case in most states, gambling is broadly illegal in New Hampshire. From that blanket statement, the state then carves out exemptions and exceptions to the law. That’s the mechanism that brought sports betting to the state in 2019, and a similar bill passage would be necessary for other forms of online gambling to show up in the Granite State.
Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any legislative attention on online casinos or gambling at this time. The state’s foray into sports betting has been successful, and subsequent bills aim to augment this success through greater expansion of the options.
For the moment, the only active bills related to gaming in New Hampshire pertain to studying and redefining the state’s large charitable gaming market. Whether the proposed study will mention online gaming remains to be seen, but most of New Hampshire’s attention is on sports betting for the foreseeable future.
Who regulates online gambling in New Hampshire?
The only legal online gambling active in New Hampshire is online sports betting. As a result of the 2019 law, the New Hampshire Lottery maintains oversight authority over all aspects of sports betting, including the online market.
So, it’s fair to assume that the lottery commission would also regulate any expansions of online gambling in the state. However, there is no move to legalize online casinos and online poker in the works in New Hampshire right now, so it’s a moot point for the moment.
What is the legal gambling age in New Hampshire?
The legal gambling age in New Hampshire is either 18 or 21. The state lottery, including the iLottery games, and bingo are accessible to those inside state lines who are 18 or older. However, you must be 21 in order to play at charitable casinos, poker games, and simulcast racing facilities in the Granite State.
Interestingly, New Hampshire law only requires players to be 18 in order to engage in sports betting. This fact makes New Hampshire one of the few sports betting states to allow betting at age 18 – almost every other state requires players to be 21 or over.
Legal online gambling vs. offshore sites
As mentioned earlier, the fact that you can find online casinos and poker sites willing to serve you in New Hampshire is not a sign of legality. In fact, there are no licensed New Hampshire online casinos or poker sites that operate under the purview of the New Hampshire Lottery or any other state agency.
The problem is that most laws, including gambling laws, are written prior to the emergence of the internet and interactive gaming. Moreover, it takes quite a bit of effort from lawmakers to amend the current statutes appropriately. So, online gambling and poker sites that reside outside of the US skirt between the lines of the law by hearkening to the fact that there is no explicit prohibition on online casinos or poker in the law.
In other words, if you search for NH online casinos or poker sites, you absolutely can find options to play. It’s probably an overstatement to declare these sites as flatly illegal, but they’re not exactly legal, either. Surprisingly, though, the main reasons why playing on one of these sites is a bad idea has nothing to do with the legality of them.
These sites reside in countries outside the US, both in terms of their corporate leadership and their servers. So, the US government and the New Hampshire state government have absolutely no way to monitor, regulate, or enforce any standards on these sites. Instead, you have to rely upon non-governmental regulatory bodies to police their business practices. Worse, you may even find that there is no oversight or that the regulators are not independent of the sites.
Types of legal gambling in New Hampshire
Obviously, the most prominent form of legal gambling in New Hampshire at this time is sports betting. However, there are several other types of gaming that you can enjoy inside the Granite State.
Sports betting became legal in New Hampshire thanks to H 480-FN and a signature from Gov. Chris Sununu in 2019. The bill legalized both online and retail sports betting in the state.
Due to an extensive study, New Hampshire’s government chose to grant DraftKings a virtual monopoly over sports betting in the state. Thus, the first sportsbook app to launch (in December 2019) was DraftKings Sportsbook. Although other companies have had some success in getting licensed to operate, such as Intralot, DraftKings remains the sole provider of sports betting online in New Hampshire.
DraftKings is also powering the retail locations that have opened inside state lines. Live sportsbooks with DraftKings kiosks opened for business in Seabrook and Manchester in 2020, and more are on the way. In fact, Rep. Timothy Lang, the primary sponsor of H 480-FN, has submitted a bill to uncap the number of retail locations that may set up shop inside New Hampshire. HB 330 would allow for more than 10 spots for DraftKings sportsbooks to open.
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 $250 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, or online with a site like TVG. There is no live racing in New Hampshire at this time.
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:
Lucky for Life
Pick 3/Pick 4
New Hampshire Poker Laws
New Hampshire has a rather unique legal environment when it comes to poker. In a traditional sense, New Hampshire does not allow poker rooms or casinos in the state. However, that doesn’t mean that poker is not allowed. In fact, there are 17 different locations throughout the state where you can find a live poker game.
The poker scene in New Hampshire is due to the fact that New Hampshire’s laws regarding charitable gambling are some of the most expansive in the nation. Nonprofits and other authorized groups can use gambling games like poker to fundraise for themselves.
When charitable poker first became legal in New Hampshire, it required the maximum bet to be no more than $1 for any game. Subsequent amendments raised the max bet incrementally over the years, but a 2015 law put an end to the bet limitations. However, the law still maintains that players cannot buy in for more than $250 in a game session, so the games in New Hampshire can never get too big. With that said, there are hundreds of poker tables with games running on any given night in the Granite State, and the industry shows no signs of slowing down.
Unfortunately, there is no law to regulate or authorize online poker in the state right now. So, all legal poker in New Hampshire must be played live. For the time being, it seems that the status quo will remain in effect, too. So far, there have been no major pushes to bring online poker to New Hampshire, but with the budding success of online sports betting continuing to develop, you never know where lawmakers will turn next.
Are there land-based casinos in New Hampshire?
Usually, this question is a yes or no proposition. However, for New Hampshire, the answer is sort of. There are establishments that refer to themselves as casinos, there are gambling games played onsite, but they are not casinos in the traditional sense.
What New Hampshire has actually done is expand the options available to charitable organizations to an unusual degree. Where many states might allow charitable bingo and raffles, New Hampshire nonprofits can offer poker games, blackjack, craps, and almost any other game that does not require a machine to facilitate. In other words, most games aside from slot machines are permissible.
The named casinos in New Hampshire are more accurately described as enhanced sports bars. They have all the trappings of a sports bar – massive televisions, extensive beer selection, etc. – but have an extra section with table games and live poker. At present, there are 17 locations throughout New Hampshire that offer charitable casino gaming. You can find them in the table below:
Lakes Region Casino
1265 Laconia Road
155 Emery Street
67 S Main Street
Conway Poker Room
234 White Mountain Highway
Dover Poker Room
887 B Central Avenue
Aces & Eights Casino
169 Ocean Blvd.
Ocean Gaming at Hampton Beach
81 Ocean Boulevard, 2nd Floor
216 West Street
172 Emerald Street, Suite 101
Lebanon Poker Room & Casino
45 Hanover Street
1279 South Willow Street
Boston Billiard Club & Casino
55 Northeastern Boulevard
The American Social Club
166 Daniel Webster Highway
The River Casino & Sports Bar
53 High Street
78 Wakefield Street
Chasers Poker Room
7 Veterans Memorial Parkway
319 New Zealand Road
Tribal casinos in New Hampshire
Federally-recognized Native American tribes have had the ability to negotiate compacts with their states to operate casinos for more than three decades. Unfortunately, there are no federally-recognized Native American tribes in the state of New Hampshire. So, there are no tribal casinos that you can visit in the Granite State.
Gambling in New Hampshire is in fine form at this moment. The moderately recent launches of both online and retail sports betting in the state have added to a surprisingly robust gambling scene, given New Hampshire’s population and location. New Hampshire residents and visitors have any number of opportunities available at their fingertips or just down the road. From online sports betting, horse betting, and iLottery to charitable casinos with poker, blackjack, craps, and other table games, there’s always something to do in the Granite State. Here’s how we arrived at this point:
1964 – The New Hampshire Lottery debuts as the first modern lottery game in the US. The launch begins New Hampshire’s foray as one of the earliest adopters of lottery games in the country. Along with this launch, New Hampshire is also part of the first multi-state lottery agreement (with Vermont and Maine) in 1985.
1977 – New Hampshire expands its charitable gaming options to include poker and most other table games as authorized games for nonprofit fundraising. Bingo, which was already legal in the state, is now categorized with these other games. The expansion is broad enough to allow for the creation of casino-like properties in New Hampshire.
2006 – Online horse betting becomes legal in New Hampshire. Ironically, the law that authorizes online horse betting’s status change is a bane to online casinos and online poker in the US. The Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) puts the hammer down on most online gaming in the US, but contains an explicit carveout for horse betting.
2017 – New Hampshire legalizes daily fantasy sports. The law, HB 580-FN-A, contains extremely favorable terms for companies looking to offer DFS inside state lines. Although the companies must register with the state, there is no tax or fee associated with registration or operation. Thus, New Hampshire is a fairly wide open locale for DFS play.
2018 – The New Hampshire Lottery introduces iLottery games to the public. These games allow New Hampshire inhabitants to place bets on instant win games through their computers or mobile devices. They are the closest gambling game to slot machines permitted in New Hampshire.
2019 – In a six-month period, New Hampshire authorizes both online and retail sports betting and bears witness to the first online sportsbook launch. DraftKings’ debut in December kicks off with a wager from Gov. Chris Sununu, who bets that the New England Patriots will win the 2020 Super Bowl. Sadly for Sununu, the Patriots fall short in the AFC Wild Card round, losing by a touchdown to the Tennessee Titans. However, the first retail sportsbook in New Hampshire opens in mid-2020, so it’s not all bad news for Sununu.