The state of New Hampshire is in an interesting place with its gambling options, given that there are no casinos throughout the state. Because of that, the state has had to get creative with sports betting to come up with solutions that work for all kinds of bettors. In this guide to NH sports betting, find out exactly what New Hampshire has done as it has built a series of sports wagering choices that should please fans throughout the state.
New Hampshire accepted sports betting into its list of gambling options in July of 2019, when Republican Gov. Chris Sununu signed bill H480 into law. Under this law, sports betting was made legal and was put under the purview of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission. And while the process of legalizing sports betting wasn’t unique in New Hampshire, the solutions New Hampshire had to come up with to offer sports betting required some outside the box thinking due to the lack of casinos in the state.
While several states are able to offer licenses to a number of operators through a network of casinos, New Hampshire has no casinos to speak of. Therefore, the executive director of the state lottery worked with operators on obtaining some exclusivity in the sports betting market, generating lucrative deals with operators without needing a network of casinos with which to license sportsbooks.
In fact, it was the lack of casinos in New Hampshire that nearly derailed the legalization of sports betting in the state entirely. While the priority of many lawmakers was to simply get sports betting legalized in the state, some within the state legislature attempted to use sports betting bills to legalize traditional casinos in New Hampshire as well. This delayed the process of legalizing sports betting, but ultimately did not prevent the state from bringing it into the fold once and for all.
With so many states close to New Hampshire legalizing sports betting, such as Rhode Island and New Jersey, it was only a matter of time until New Hampshire got on board. A failure to do so would have put Rhode Island behind the eight ball, as the state would have lost potential sports betting revenue to those neighboring states until they came up with a solution of their own. Given the current shift in attitudes toward sports betting throughout the United States, 2019 was the ideal time to capitalize on the opportunity to legalize.
Unlike most states that look to offer sports wagering at retail locations first and foremost, New Hampshire had to do things differently. Without casinos, the state focused on online sports betting first, with the state granting up to five licenses to online operators in the state. For now, though, DraftKings is the only sports betting operator that is allowed to offer its services in New Hampshire.
Per the agreement that the state has with DraftKings, any bettor located within the state of New Hampshire is able to place bets through the DraftKings sportsbook app. This means that bettors in Manchester, Concord, Laconia or any other location in New Hampshire can access legal sports betting without having to travel anywhere or do anything that would make betting on sports inconvenient for them. And things could get even more convenient, as there is the potential for land-based sports wagering as well.
Included in the New Hampshire sports betting law is also the ability for the state to provide licenses for up to 10 physical sports betting locations throughout the state. What exactly these would look like remains to be seen, as there are no casinos at which sports betting would be possible. Instead, these could be facilities dedicated to only sports betting, or something completely different and uncommon in the United States.
An idea of what these facilities could look like can be seen in England, where physical sports betting shops exist in abundance. Similar to any other storefront, these facilities carry the branding of the sportsbook they represent on their location, with bettors able to walk in and place bets in person at their leisure.
One form of physical sports betting that has already been worked out in New Hampshire has come in the form of a deal between the state lottery commission and Intralot. Intralot, a sports betting technology provider, has provided its services at over 1,000 lottery retailers throughout the state to offer sports betting where lottery games are sold. For bettors looking for a physical sports betting location without having to go out of their way, this could be the ideal solution.
Sports wagering in New Hampshire is easy and convenient, as there are not too many options for New Hampshire residents to worry about. Bettors can simply go to the DraftKings sportsbook while located within New Hampshire state lines in order to place their bets. While on the app, bettors can look for the sports that they want to wager on, and select which leagues and games they want to bet on within those sports.
At this time, there are no retail sportsbooks that are available for use, although lottery retailers are confirmed to be offering sports betting in 2020. There is the potential for more physical sportsbook locations to be coming in 2020 as well, depending on which licenses are granted throughout the state and if entities that obtain licenses are able to develop physical locations for sports gambling on a quick enough turnaround.
The most important thing to remember in New Hampshire is the fact that online sports betting is available to everyone located within the state. This means that no New Hampshire bettor is shut out from placing wagers on sports based on their location, making things as inclusive as possible for residents of the state. And, with the coronavirus pandemic shutting down sports betting in states where only land-based betting is present, New Hampshire bettors never have to worry about being left out in the cold.
Right now, the list of sportsbooks that can be used in New Hampshire is a small one, but that is by design. When it comes to online sportsbooks, DraftKings Sportsbook is the only mobile sports betting option that exists at the moment. There is the potential for additional online betting licenses to be granted throughout the state of New Hampshire, but a beneficial deal for the state seems to have resulted in DraftKings earning some exclusivity in the online betting market.
Physical sports betting will be coming in 2020 to the state as well, in the form of sports action through lottery retailers throughout New Hampshire. This is another case where additional licenses could be awarded for land-based sports betting. Whether or not that happens, though, bettors can expect to be able to wager on sports through lottery retailers before the end of 2020 and beyond.
New Hampshire is a part of the New England region of the United States, which means that it has strong ties to Boston sports teams. With many New Hampshire residents supporting the Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots and Boston Celtics, it only makes sense that their leagues would be top priorities for New Hampshire sportsbooks to focus on.
Bettors can wager on the NFL from the start of each season all the way through the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft. They can do the same for the NBA, MLB and NHL seasons, supporting the Massachusetts teams or not depending on how a bettor wants to handle each contest. Bettors can also wager on professional racing, fighting, soccer, tennis and other sports.
College sports are also up for grabs for New Hampshire sports bettors. Bettors can wager on college football and basketball games throughout each season, with the College Football Playoff and NCAA Tournament serving as the most wagered on events in each of those sports. The exception to college sports betting in New Hampshire comes in the form of restrictions on betting on games featuring teams based in New Hampshire, which is a rule that many states have adopted for collegiate athletics.
In addition to a large number of sports, bettors can also wager on a large number of markets within those sports. Bettors can wager on exotic markets such as prop bets, futures, parlays and teasers in New Hampshire. Of course, those looking to place more conventional wagers can do so as well.
In-game wagering is also something that bettors in New Hampshire can take advantage of when they are betting online. This form of betting is growing in popularity, as bettors can wager on games that have already started, with odds that regularly update based on what is happening in that game to that point. For bettors who are good at picking up on the nuances of sporting events, this form of betting has the potential to be a profitable one.