Online Gambling in New Hampshire


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Daily Fantasy Sports in New Hampshire
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New Hampshire daily fantasy sports are legal. The Granite State was among an early group of jurisdictions that formally legalized real-money DFS games. Though these games operate in almost every state in the nation, only about half have protections and regulations for such games in state law.

That means New Hampshire residents and visitors can currently enjoy top DFS sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel fully legally. Soon they’ll be able to wager on sporting events along with setting up lineups for their favorite NFL, NBA or other sports leagues. Expect both DraftKings and FanDuel to apply for one of the five third-party online vendor licenses, meaning players can enjoy both DFS and sports wagering options from familiar purveyors.

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Online Sports Betting in New Hampshire
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New Hampshire online sports betting is legal, though operators haven’t begun taking bets yet. The state legalized betting on sporting events in July 2019 and is still reviewing and implementing regulations and vendors. Follow for the latest developments in New Hampshire as well as when to expect its first legal bet.

In a best-case scenario, sports betting in New Hampshire could begin as early as November or December 2019. Once legal, New Hampshire sports bettors will have a variety of in-person and online wagering options.

As many as 10 towns and cities could set up legal in-person sportsbooks. Up to five third-party vendors as well as the popular state lottery will also be able to take sports bets through the internet and via mobile devices.

Unlike in most other states, the New Hampshire sports betting age is 18. That means eligible adult residents or visitors can place a bet from anywhere within state lines once mobile and legal sports betting is operational. Bettors will be able to wager on a full array of professional and college sports, though competitions involving New Hampshire college teams are prohibited. Officials excluded an in-person registration requirement mandated in some other states, meaning bettors can register from a mobile device anywhere within the state.

Once up and running, New Hampshire sports bettors will have plenty of options to bet on popular teams such as the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox, among literally hundreds of other clubs. Simple registration requirements and widespread mobile access position New Hampshire to become one of the stronger per capita sports betting markets in the country.

Online Casino Gambling in New Hampshire
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New Hampshire online casino gambling is illegal. It is one of the few remaining states without any full-scale, brick-and-mortar casinos so it shouldn’t come as a surprise New Hampshire has no legal real-money online casinos. There are multiple small-scale “casinos” spread across the state, but they are run by charitable entities and limited in gaming offerings, hours and bet totals.

Elected officials would likely have to approve some sort of physical location before they’d warm up to real-money online casinos with internet slots and table games. Every state with internet casino gaming has so far affiliated, or “tethered,” these sites to existing facilities.

A New Hampshire land-based casino would likely be a few years from fruition, if it should be approved at all. Some members of the 424-person legislature have pushed for a casino for several years, including during the negotiations over sports betting in 2019. Still, lawmakers seem reluctant to approve the first casinos in New Hampshire despite the rapid changes in gaming across New England.

In 2018 Massachusetts opened a massive new casino in Springfield, and in 2019 opened another mega gaming center in Boston, a manageable drive for many of New Hampshire’s southern towns. That adds two major gaming destinations to marquee facilities in Rhode Island and Connecticut, on top of several more gaming establishments in Maine.

Sports betting appeared to crack through decades of opposition to New Hampshire gambling, a key first step toward real-money online casino gaming. Combined with pressures from neighboring states, New Hampshire may begin the lengthy process toward its own casino in the coming years, though nothing is planned for now.

Online Poker in New Hampshire
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New Hampshire online poker is not legal. Real-money online poker has been in the same rut as the state’s online and brick-and-mortar casinos – despite increasing options across state lines, there’s little momentum for poker expansion in New Hampshire.

Real-money online poker would be a logical addition to other gambling expansion measures when, or if, New Hampshire looks to embrace these options that are now increasingly common across the country. There are a limited number of “casinos” and card rooms spread across the state, but they are more similar to sports bars than actual full-fledged casinos. Should momentum build for brick-and-mortar as well as online casinos, expect internet poker to follow.

Still, that prospect remains a longshot. Online poker players will have to find other avenues for legal play, and will likely have to leave New Hampshire to do so for years to come.

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Gambling in New Hampshire

New Hampshire gambling is best defined by its lottery, the first modern state-sanctioned lottery in the continental United States and the originator of what is now an $80 billion annual industry. In most other forms of gambling, New Hampshire has been late to the party.

First proposed as a way to generate revenues for the state, in 1963 New Hampshire approved a lottery system overseen by the state government. Out-of-state residents across the Northeast flocked to play the games. Those revenues went back to the lottery (and the New Hampshire government by extension), regardless of where the ticket buyer lived.

Neighboring states soon legalized lotteries to keep residents playing within their borders. This began a decades-long domino effect that saw lotteries legalized in all but five states by 2019, even in some of the most conservative, gambling-averse jurisdictions in the nation.

As other states embraced not only lotteries but new forms of gambling such as casinos and online betting, New Hampshire (and its lottery) was content to largely ignore these new ventures. By the 21st century, New Hampshire had fewer gaming options than it had decades earlier. Dog racing was outlawed in 2010, and the state’s century-old horse racing industry diminished until its remaining tracks shut down around the same time.

The New Hampshire Lottery has continued a leading role in the national gaming arena, including spearheading a legal challenge to a federal reinterpretation of a statute that threatens to outlaw the nascent online gambling industry. Meanwhile, the lottery will also soon oversee one of the nation’s earliest online sports betting markets.

The future seems more cloudy for gaming entities outside the lottery’s purview. It doesn’t help that the state’s largest and most influential gaming revenue generator isn’t exactly cheering on would-be competitors. Excluding the limited charitable card rooms and “casinos” in New Hampshire, there are no full-fledged gaming centers, despite their proliferation across much of New England.

As the lottery once did to other state legislatures, the increasingly crowded regional casino group may compel New Hampshire officials to approve casinos as a means to keep residents’ gambling dollars from crossing its borders. But the reality of a brick-and-mortar casino seems years away, at best, and an online market seems even less likely soon.

Timeline of Gambling Legislation in New Hampshire

1 of 8

Online and in-person sports betting is legalized, a major breakthrough for a state with no brick-and-mortar gambling establishments. Overseen by the state lottery, third-party online vendors as well as up to 10 physical sportsbooks are also permitted under the law.

2 of 8

Lawmakers approve daily fantasy games, becoming one of the earlier adopters in the nation.

3 of 8

Limited casino offerings are permitted by charitable organizations as a means to raise funds.

4 of 8

Legislators, once again, try to approve the state’s first-ever commercial casinos, a now annual tradition that has consistently fallen flat in the General Court.

5 of 8

Rockingham Park in Salem, once one of the nation’s most prestigious horse racing tracks, runs its final race after more than 100 years of operation. The facility is demolished in 2017.

6 of 8

Dog racing is legalized. It is outlawed in 2010.

7 of 8

New Hampshire becomes the first state to legalize a modern government-sanctioned lottery, sparking a multi-billion dollar industry that spread to more than 40 states.

8 of 8

Pari-mutuel betting on horse racing is legalized, helping to invigorate the state’s horse racing industry and Rockingham Park in particular.

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