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New Hampshire Legislature Passes Sports Betting Bill

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu Supports Bill, Likely To Sign Within The Month


New Hampshire is just one signature away from becoming the joining Rhode Island as the only states in New England with legal sports betting.

The state legislature passed H 480 Thursday, which will allow both retail and online sports betting in the Granite State. The Bill now heads to the desk of Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who has already expressed his support for the bill.

The bill passed the House earlier in the week, but the Senate made three amendments to the bill, which forced the House to vote on it again Thursday. The amendments made it clear that multiple online sports betting operators will be permitted in the space, but will be capped at five. It also capped the retail operators at 10.

The bill creates a subdivision within the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, the Division of Sports Wagering, which will act as the regulatory body for the industry.

It will allow anyone over the age of 18, not 21 like in most other states, to wager on professional and collegiate sporting events. Gamblers will not be allowed to wager on New Hampshire colleges or on collegiate sporting events taking place in the state. It will not provide the leagues with an integrity fee and does not require operators to use official league data.

The bill is expected to hit Gov. Sununu’s desk in about a month. He will then have 10 days to sign it, which he is likely to do. In his budget released earlier in the year, the governor included $10 million in tax revenue from sports betting.

According to the Associated Press, it is estimated that the industry will generate $7.5 million in tax revenue for the 2021 fiscal year and $13.5 million two years later, once the industry has matured.

New Hampshire has been at the forefront of the gambling industry in 2019. In March, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission sued the U.S. Department of Justice for their latest opinion on the Wire Act. A U.S. District Judge ruled in favor of New Hampshire last week, but the DOJ is likely to appeal the ruling.