Concord, NH – Even though it is not set in stone yet, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission is going to be overseeing sports betting in the state when a sports betting bill passes. 

On Thursday, lawmakers in Concord are debating on NH HB 480 in one of the Houses committees. NH HB 480 is a bill that will allow sports wagering to become legal in New Hampshire and it allows the Lottery Commission in the state to oversee its operation. 

Rep. Timothy Lang (R-Sanbornton) says that the goal of passing this bill is not to create a new industry for the state to tax. 

“Understand, this industry already exists,” Lang states. “It’s just that it’s illegal and underground. The goal of this bill is to bring that underground, unregulated industry into a regulated industry that we can manage.”

If the bill passes on or before July 1st, 2019, the bill could bring the money that is used in underground sports betting into state revenue. The bill aims to tax five percent per establishment for sports betting sales. That money will first go to the lottery commission and then the state will tax the lottery from the five percent they take in. 

10 percent of the money taken from the lottery to the state will go into funding that will help those who are facing gambling addiction. The bill also states that “proceeds received by the commission from sports wagering, less the administrative costs of the commission, prizes paid, and payments for problem gambling services, shall be deposited in the education trust fund established.” 

The state estimates that in the first year when sports betting becomes legal, the government will make between $1.5 million and $7 million. They also say that it will only increase from there when people who are currently betting outside of regulation comes into the fold. The lottery plans on making it easy for them too. 

The lottery in New Hampshire operates out of retail and convenience stores. The plan says that they will allow sportsbooks to be opened where they currently operate. There are even talks that individual storefronts for sports betting could potentially be opened as well. On top of the physical locations to place sports wagers, the commission is also planning on making mobile and online sports betting available for the state.  

The bill is on track to pass July 1st this year. Once it does pass, sportsbooks set to begin taking bets on July 1st, 2020.

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