New Hampshire is the newest state to join the nine that have already legalized sports betting. On Friday, Governor Chris Sununu signed H 480, a sports betting bill that will allow up to 10 retail licenses within the state, along with five online and mobile licenses. The bill had already been approved by lawmakers in June, but it took nearly a month for the governor to sign it. Still, better late than never.
What’s in H 480?
The new bill calls for the creation of a Division of Sports Wagering within the NH Lottery Commission - the division will be tasked with regulating sports betting. This is fairly similar to West Virginia’s system, which also has its lottery supervising the sports betting industry.
Governor Sununu commented, “We can do it with a lot of confidence because it’s being done responsibly, and it’s being done with an organization here at the lottery that just knows what they’re doing. They know how to get this stuff off the ground.”
Competition is Expected
What’s interesting is that the bill doesn’t include a standard revenue-sharing agreement; rather, it allows the lottery to negotiate with each operator that applies. Since there are only 15 licenses up for grabs, there is expected to be some competition, and the state will likely choose those applicants that can benefit it the most.
As for registration and betting - the bill allows for remote registration but does not allow in-state collegiate betting. In-play betting will be available only online.
The target launch date of New Hampshire sports betting is July 2020, which means the lottery will have plenty of time to set up the new division, review license applications, and get the system up and running. As for projected revenue, the fiscal note attached to H 480 anticipates that from the year 2021, $225 million will be generated from sports betting, with at least $11.25 million going to state coffers.