New Hampshire Lottery is now accepting applications for both physical and online sports betting operators, following the approval of state governor Chris Sununu of sports gambling legislation last month. If everything goes according to plan, state residents could start betting on sporting events by the time the 2020 NFL Super Bowl season begins.
Among other things, the bill that Governor Sununu recently signed into law allocates five licenses for online sports betting operators and 10 licenses for retail operators. Stand-alone online sportsbooks will be deemed legal, which means that online betting operators don’t need to be tethered to an existing sportsbook.
It is expected that sports betting giants like DraftKings and FanDuel would be among the first to apply for these untethered online-only licenses. The New Hampshire Lottery has announced that they will continue accepting applications until 4:00p.m. on September 16. They expect to announce the recipients of licenses by November of this year.
Sununu pushed the legalization of sports betting to the point of almost mandating it. And he has expressed his excitement over the passing of the law by saying he wants to be the first to place a bet. “The only rule is, I want to place the first bet,” Sununu said. However, he made no mention of what he will be betting on or when he plans to place a bet.
The law, which was a last-minute push for sports betting legalization prior to the start of the NFL season, allows gamblers to bet on all college and professional sports, unless the sporting event includes a New Hampshire school or if the sporting event is being held within the state. The law also provides for a subdivision within the New Hampshire Lottery Commission to regulate the sports betting market. Provisions of the law require gamblers to be at least 18 years old in order to legally place a bet on a sporting event.
In his official statement, New Hampshire Lottery Executive Director Charlie McIntyre said: “The New Hampshire Lottery looks forward to working with vendors to develop a secure sports betting system that engages our players and drives revenue in support of education in New Hampshire.”
After the lottery commission picks their preferred locations for the ten retail operators, they will provide sports betting information to those cities for the November ballots. The voters will therefore get the final say in regard to the specific location of those ten retail operators. As soon as sports betting is officially launched in the state, New Hampshire will join Rhode Island as the only two states in New England to have legalized sports betting.
It is estimated that sports betting will generate about $7.5 million in tax revenue for New Hampshire in the 2021 fiscal year. If these estimates are right, then sports betting will definitely be a big help in funding the state’s education programs. The numbers are even expected to rise to about $13.5 million two years later when the market would have fully matured.