The residents of Concord will have the opportunity to vote to legalize sports betting and keno.

  • New Hampshire sports betting is not active yet.
  • Concord voters will decide if they will install keno and sports betting.
  • A bidding process will then need to happen before sportsbooks can open.

CONCORD, N.H. – Councilors in Concord approved on Monday a measure to put sports betting and keno on the November ballot.

There is a long path that needs to happen before sports betting can happen in New Hampshire. Back in July, NH HB 480 was signed into law which legalizes sports betting in the state. But this does not mean that sportsbooks can open outright in the state. A bidding process must happen first.

In this case, Concord residents must vote to allow legal sports betting to happen in the city. Once that happens, there is still a chance that sportsbooks will not open in Concord. Sports betting companies will then start a bidding process to see who can open a book in the city. There is a small chance that no sports betting companies will want to open in Concord. At the moment, nothing is guaranteed to happen in Concord.

If sports betting does begin, the revenue collected will fund education programs. Keno will also fund education programs. More specifically, keno will help fund kindergarten programs.

There are some doubts if keno and New Hampshire sports betting will happen in Concord. The city rejected a similar keno proposal two years ago. The keno measure failed in a 1,723 to 2,249 vote. Now, Concord residents will get another chance to bring keno and sports betting to the city.

Although putting keno and sports betting on the ballot is happening, some council members expressed their concerns. Councilor Byron Champlin is not in favor of gambling expansion in Concord.

“I’m deeply concerned that we continuously see gambling sticking its nose further and further under the tent. We don’t call it gambling anymore – it’s gaming, it’s like Parcheesi or it’s like we play children’s games like Trivial Pursuit … gambling can hurt, not only the person who gambles, but their family, and the people around them,” said Champlin.

Despite Champlin’s concerns, keno and sports betting are going to be on the 2019 ballot for Concord. If approved, keno machines could arrive within the following weeks or months. It will take some more time for sportsbooks to open in Concord. If approved, sportsbooks could open before the NCAA basketball tournament in 2020.

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