City officials from Hampton and Seabrook want to bring in retail sportsbooks.

  • The lawmakers from the cities of Hampton and Seabrook want to allow for retail sportsbooks.
  • In New Hampshire, every city must let the voters decide to allow a retail sportsbook.
  • Decisions about retail sportsbooks are expected to be made on March 10.

HAMPTON, N.H. – Two cities in New Hampshire are now asking their residents to opt-in for retail sportsbooks.

The plea is coming from Hampton and Seabrook selectmen. Selectmen from both towns are planning to hold a town meeting on March 10. In these town meetings, selectmen will ask voters if they want to bring New Hampshire sports betting to their cities.

Opting In For Sports Betting

Sports betting has been legal in New Hampshire for over half of a year. Governor Chris Sununu signed the sports betting bill back in July. Since then, it has been a slow process of opening up sportsbooks in New Hampshire.

To open a sportsbook in a city, city officials must first ask their voters if they want to opt-in for a retail sportsbook. To do so, a town meeting must take place with voters from the town. There, the voters will make the ultimate decision if they do or do not want a retail sportsbook.

Back in December, selectmen from Hampton voted to allow the town voters to weigh in on the issue after several cities voted against sports betting launches in their districts.

Towns in New Hampshire have the incentive to allow retail sportsbooks, though. Selectmen and local officials believe that allowing a retail sportsbook will attract new businesses to come in. They are also interested in increasing charitable gambling and using tax funds to fund education.

Waiting For Retail Sports Betting

The voting process is mostly concerning traditional brick-and-motor sportsbooks in New Hampshire. Online and mobile sports betting is already active in New Hampshire, as the DraftKings online sportsbook opened in late December.

What is left for New Hampshire is to open their retail sportsbooks. There are only 10 sports betting licenses available in New Hampshire so even if Hampton and Seabrook opt-in, there is a chance that they will not get a sportsbook. Either way, lottery officials are looking to have retail sportsbooks up and operational soon.

“We are looking to have (retail locations) up and running by hopefully the first part of this year and then be rolled out one at a time over the next several years,” said John Conforti from the New Hampshire Lottery Commission

Until then, New Hampshire residents are taking advantage of the DraftKings online sportsbook currently available to them. However, it appears that it won’t be long until the knowledge of which New Hampshire towns will opt-in for retail sports betting.

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