New Hampshire Online Gambling Bill Gets Another RevivalPublished October 24, 2017 by Elana K
New Hampshire’s online gambling bill, HB 562, has received its third resurrection in the Granite State, after having been shelved both in January and August of this year.
New Hampshire’s online gambling bill, HB 562, has received its third resurrection in the Granite State, after having been shelved both in January and August of this year. Now, the bill has come back as part of an executive session, which will take place on October 25.
What is an Executive Session?
An executive session is similar to a committee meeting. During the session, New Hampshire lawmakers can vote on whether the bill should pass as is, should pass with amendments, should be referred back to a committee, or whether nothing should be done at all.
The likelihood of the bill passing as it is written is minuscule, as it is described as a “placeholder bill,” which means that it allows online gambling, but contains no real details about games, rules, licensing, taxes, etc. The bill would need to be filled in before being passed (or it could just be shelved again).
Does the Bill Have a Chance?
While the bill’s revival in late October is a good sign, there are likely to be some stumbling blocks along the road. Most recently, the bill’s main sponsor, Rep. Eric Schleien, has been accused of sexually assaulting a minor. That does not bode well for the bill or the sponsor.
Secondly, the bill needs to be filled in with significant details, and the chances of that happening in time to be enacted by January 1, 2018 are not high. More likely is that lawmakers will spend the good part of the next year working out details, and the bill will be enacted in 2019 (and that is an optimistic timeline).
One major cause for hope, however, is the speculation that New Hampshire will try to emulate Delaware’s online gambling model, which has the state lottery overseeing online gambling operations. This is a cause for hope since New Hampshire legalized online lottery ticket sales in July, which is the first step in merging the two operations.