• Sports Betting in New Hampshire was signed into law by NH Governor Chris Sununu on July 12, 2019.
  • Local voters will have to approve if they want sports betting within their communities during the November ballot.
  • The NH lottery’s sports betting RFP was released to proposers last week.

DOVER, N.H. – The first steps in finding out where sports betting in New Hampshire will take place will occur this week.

On Wednesday, the City Council of Dover, N.H. will review a proposed sports betting ballot question. Should the Council approve the question and voters pass the measure during the municipal election in November, state-authorized sportsbooks could begin to operate in Dover as soon as early 2020.

Dover Mayor Karen Weston is sponsoring the proposed ballot question along with City Councilor Dennis Shanahan.

“Instead of being behind the times…if [the state’s] going to do that kind of betting, we want Dover to have that opportunity to be at the forefront,” said Mayor Weston.

However, even if local voters approve NH sportsbooks to operate in the community, that does not guarantee that one will come. NH HB 480, the sports betting bill that was signed into law by NH Governor Chris Sununu, will only allow for a maximum of 10 retail sportsbook locations in the state.

A local vote serves as a method to tell prospective sports wagering companies that they are welcome in Dover. The New Hampshire Lottery released an RFP for potential sportsbook operators last week. The estimated date for a final contract approval is currently set for November 20, 2019.

“We just want to make sure it’s not a missed opportunity for the city of Dover,” said Weston.

After the Council’s first reading on Wednesday, the resolution will have to go before an official public hearing as well as a City Council vote. After that, the Council can put New Hampshire sports betting on the ballot.

Both the public hearing and City Council vote are scheduled to take place on October 9, 2019.

Legal sports betting is projected to produce about $7.5 million for the state’s education fund during the 2021 fiscal year and upwards of $13.5 million two years later. A percentage of the tax collected from the activity will also be used to treat problem gambling.

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