There is some clear progress being made in New Hampshire in regards to legalized sports gambling.
On May 23, the New Hampshire state House sent Bill HB480 back to the full Senate for approval. The bill would legalize sports betting in New Hampshire. HB480 has been passed to the state Senate for one more reading in the chamber.
On March 24, the New Hampshire House approved legislation that would allow the state lottery commission authority to control sports betting in the state.
This has made a lot of headway considering the bill was first introduced in early January. In late March was when the Senate first introduced the bill after several meetings and discussions with just the House.
The sponsors behind HB480 are Rep. Timothy Lang [R], Rep. Brian Chirichiello [R], Rep. Sean Morrison [R], Rep. Werner Horn [R], Rep. Glen Aldrich [R], Rep. Jason Janvrin [R], Rep. John Potucek [R], Rep. Jeffrey Goley [D] and Rep. Timothy Soucy [D].
HB480 would push the regulation of sports gambling online, on mobile devices and in-person in New Hampshire. The most recent amendment was mostly about a mobile component which has been critical in New Jersey’s success since May 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal ban against sports gambling outside of Nevada.
The New Hampshire Senate will meet to discuss the bill and if passed by them it will then return the House for one more look. Then, Gov. Chris Sununu would sign the law into effect. Sununu expressed support for the bill during an address in February, the Concord Monitor reported.
HB480 would give bettors a change to bet on professional and college sports but there is a kicker – no wagers would be allowed on the state’s college sports teams such as Dartmouth or the University of New Hampshire.
The Concord Monitor pointed out these important aspects in March regarding the possibility of sports betting in New Hampshire.
Supporters argue that regulated, legal sports gambling in the state will increase funding for the state education system and provide consumer protection lacking in the illegal, offshore market. But opponents argue that problem gamblers will face more temptation in a legal market, increasing problems for some New Hampshire residents.
There are no casino infrastructures in New Hampshire yet, but the Senate voted on a bill to let two casinos operate in state territory. It passed with a narrow margin of 13-11 and is awaiting House approval.
Casinos would be a way to let sportsbooks come in, set the market and bring in more revenue for the state in a different way.
New Hampshire Law Associate Dean Michael McCann made some interesting points when speaking with the Concord Monitor in late March. He said one true advantage of allowing sports gambling to be a legalized industry in the state would be that any of the industry’s problems would be more translucent and could be solved more easily.
“I think the legalization of it will likely help address some of those concerns because it will come out in the open,” McCann said.
With the Senate planning for one more reading, Granite State residents could be making bets rather shortly.
New Hampshire would see a big uptick in the revenue revolving around sports betting, especially when the NFL preseason returns in August and Major League Baseball gears up for the playoffs. Plus, as McCann said, this bill would make the sports betting market more transparent in the state.