New Hampshire Sports Betting Bill on Cusp of Being Signed Into Law by Governor
New Hampshire’s sports betting bill has undergone scrutiny by the state’s House of Representatives with great success and is now headed to Governor Chris Sununu for his signature. The version of the bill the House okayed is an amended iteration that was returned by the Senate.
The amendment in this legislation (House Bill 480) was made to limit the number of mobile betting operators to five as well as limiting the number of retail sportsbooks operating simultaneously to ten. HB 480 was filed in January by Rep. Timothy Lang.
Plenty of Changes Made
The bill was passed by the House in March and was approved by the Senate in May …
…even though it had to be returned to the House of Representatives due to a large number of alterations made by the New Hampshire legislature’s upper chamber. Another added change was a contribution by The Senate Finance Committee which requested that mobile sports wagering be powered by servers that are New Hampshire-based and that bets must be processed within the borders of the state.
There is the issue of “incidental intermediate routing” of bets…
…which cannot, with certainty, determine the location of a placed bet. For instance, a bet date places in New Hampshire which crosses the borders of the state would be considered a New Hampshire bet in case it was settled in the state.
State Lottery in Charge
House Representative, Richard Ames, made another amendment…
…with which he permitted the Lottery Commission to set daily, weekly and monthly spending limits for players and to provide the obligatory self-exclusion system. The State Lottery Commission will also be in charge of the mobile and retail partners selection. This will be done via a tender process.
However, the proper oversight of the new sports betting sector will be a job for the Division of Sports Wagering, a newly-instated unit within the Lottery Commission. They will be selecting the state’s sports betting vendors as well.
What remains to be formed is a five-person body of addiction or mental health services experts that will operate under The Council for Responsible Gambling. They will be promoting education, prevention and treatment of problem gambling.
Market’s Launch Not Before Mid-2020
If Governor Sununu signs the bill into law…
…there will be a request for proposal to select the sports betting operator for the state. The partner(s) should be selected before January 1, 2020, so that the sports betting market can be launched on July 1, 2020.
Selected operating partners would enter the revenue sharing agreements that will make sure the state gets a return from legal wagering. The bill estimates, based on 5% industry hold (which is the average) that the state would collect $11.3 million from $225 million in handles in fiscal year 2021, which by 2023 could rise to $11.8 million.
“New Hampshire legislature passes sports betting bill”, igbnorthamerica.com, June 14, 2019.