New Hampshire sports betting was signed into law in June.
Voters in local N.H. cities will have to approve whether or not they want land-based sportsbooks next month.
A Massachusetts sports betting bill has still not advanced past a single committee.
CONCORD, N.H. – Ever since N.H. sports betting was signed into law in June, sports fans in the Granite State have been anxiously awaiting the first legal sportsbook to open. One sports fan, in particular, couldn’t be more excited. That fan: New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu.
“I told my team I don’t care how we do this but we’re going to be fair about it, and I’m going to be placing a bet on Tom Brady and the over before this season is done,” said Sununu in a radio interview with WEEI Sports Radio Network last week.
The New Hampshire Lottery, the regulatory body over sports betting in NH, posted a request for proposals back in August to determine which sports wagering companies are hoping to do business in the state.
“We put the request for proposals out, did the interviews, we’re going to be handing out the first contracts in the next few weeks here…We’re hoping to get something open as soon as January,” said Sununu.
However, before sportsbooks in NH can begin to open, local referendums will have to occur next month. Cities that will vote on the issue in November include Concord, Nashua, and Dover. Seabrook will also be debating on legal sportsbooks, but a vote won’t happen there until March 2020.
Sports Betting Elsewhere In New England
While sports betting in New Hampshire appears to be coming sooner than later, the same can’t be said for Massachusetts.
“It’s always baffled me why Massachusetts put the brakes on this one…Massachusetts seems to be this black hole, so we’re just going to pick up the slack until Massachusetts figures out what to do,” said Sununu.
There have been over a dozen MA sports betting bills introduced this year, including one from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. However, not a single one has passed through the Joint Legislative Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies yet.
The only New England state that currently offers legal sports betting is Rhode Island. The Twin River casinos in Rhode Island have been offering land-based sports betting since last year and now offer statewide mobile sports wagering to those that register in-person at their casinos.
These casinos have been the only places to bet on the New England Patriots in the New England area since the season began. Given how the Patriots have been playing, many expect them to be playing in the postseason in January.
If New Hampshire is able to launch mobile sports betting apps by then, sports bettors in the Boston area will surely flock up north of the border to place their bets. New Hampshire does not have a sales tax or state income tax which gives them an edge over surrounding states.
– In his career, Hasan has worked both local and state government positions—including the Attorney General’s Office in Florida. On top of being familiar with the legislative process, he has also been researching and writing on the legality of sports betting across the US. Outside of work you’ll most likely find him producing or playing music, playing sports, or working on creative writing projects. You’ll also catch him at Doak Campbell Stadium cheering on the Noles.