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New Hampshire Pushes Closer to Sports Betting Legalization

This week, members of the New Hampshire House decided to approve legislation involving sports betting. Members went along with a recommendation by the Ways and Means Committee of concurrence with the bill now heading towards the Governor’s desk, who is expected to sign the measure.

H 480

The Senate decided to make three amendments to sports betting legislation H 480, which led to the members of the House needing to concur. The amendments provided further clarification involving online sports betting inkling capping operators to five and setting a cap of 10 for retail operators.

Representative Susan Almy was in charge of deciding if the committee would concur the bill changes. She surveyed members of the committee an decided to approve after determining the everyone was on board. Everyone was in agreement that the changes were small and did not change the main features of the bill.

Some representatives were disappointed that the Senate decided to limit the retail location number, instead of maintaining a free market. One lawmaker was hoping that the Senate would allow in-play wagering, which had been removed by the House Ways and Means Committee. However, that was not the case.

What Sports Betting Will Look Like

With the legislation, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission is in charge of conducting sports betting. They can offer services or use authorized agents for gaming via mobile devices and retail outlets. The bill will go into effect immediately after being signed by the governor.

A Division of Sports Wagering will be created in the Lottery Commission that will hold the position as regulator. Individuals 18 years of age or older within the state’s borders can take part in gaming. Remote registration is required for mobile gaming and no wager can be placed on college teams from New Hampshire or any college games taking place in the state.

The bill will not set an integrity fee for sports leagues and operators are not restricted to using official league data.

The bill now moves to the Enrolled Bills Committee where it will be checked for any errors. Once the review is complete, the bill will go on to the desk of Governor Chris Sununu. This process should take three to four weeks to complete.

Sununu will have a ten day time frame to sign the bill once it reaches his desk. It is believed that he will sign the bill without delay. The governor included $10 million in the recent state budget to come from sports betting.

If signed, the bill will legalize sports betting in the state, making New Hampshire the latest in a string of states to pass legislation involving sports betting in some form or fashion. Over the past year, sports betting has pushed ahead of online poker and casino gaming as the top choice for gambling expansion. It is only expected to grow even more over the next year as more states begin to offer services or consider legislation to get in on the action.