Several U.S. states introduced online casino bills this year, with only one, Rhode Island, passing the bill. The rest, including New Hampshire, faced bumps, killing these bills until the next legislative session. It seems the Granite State is catching a breakthrough after the primary opposer of its last online casino bill came around.
Last year, Senator Tim Lang introduced the first online casino bill, SB 104, in New Hampshire. His action may have been motivated by his 2019 success. That year, the senator introduced an online sports betting bill, facing little opposition.
Ideally, the Granite State has 15 legal land-based casinos since 2006. These casinos pay 35 percent of their gross revenue to charities and another 10 percent to the New Hampshire Lottery, which goes to public education. These casinos run slot-like historical horse racing machines instead of the usual kind.
The senator also suggested increasing betting limits at charitable casinos in exchange for unlimited online wagers. Also, online casino apps would be obligated to show the nearest land-based charitable casino.
Unfortunately, the New Hampshire Charitable Gaming Operators Association, through its representative Rick Newman, told the House that it did not support the online casino bill.
This led to the House committee killing the bill. Speaking about the unsuccessful bill, Lang said that the charitable casino operators were afraid of cannibalization. The senator said they had provided data proving the operators otherwise but did not budge.
Lang to Introduce a New Casino Bill in 2024
Senator Lang can now start working on another casino bill following the change of heart by the charitable casino operators. Speaking in Denver to the National Council of Legislators, the senator said operators had contacted him and asked him to file a bill prior to the 2024 legislative session. The operators promised to support the bill and get it passed.
Lang is even positive the bill will pass. He noted that he was the chairman of Ways and Means Committee, one of the committees the bill would go to. The senator will then convince the House to accept the bill too.
Lang will work with charitable casino operators in the summer to create a new online casino bill. He expects to file the bill by September. There is a hurdle, though.
The New Hampshire assembly insists that all the 2024 bills must be different from those of 2023. Fortunately, the changes asked by charitable casino operators could account for a “new” element.
What Do Charitable Casinos Want?
The New Hampshire charitable casinos did not agree to support an online casino bill out of nowhere. The group wants online casinos to be under the existing gaming in the state.
According to Newman, this approach may appeal to lawmakers who oppose companies like DraftKings to run online gaming. Newman also hinted at what charitable gaming operators did not like about the previous bill, such as the lack of a charitable component and no limit betting limit for online casinos. The new bill may have to address these issues.