New Hampshire state is the latest entrant in the sports betting industry. Gov. Chris Sununu signed into law the bill that would legalize sports betting and would further authorize the provision of retail and sports betting in New Hampshire.
The state sits as the second state in New England region that has since legalized sports betting after Rhode Island where in late 2018, the state saw Twin River Tiverton and Twin River Lincoln go live with sports betting.
Early this year, Rep. Timothy Lang introduced a bill in the state House that would see the legalization of sports betting. The bill received massive legislature support from the state’s General Court two houses and on Friday, July 12th, 2019, the bill crossed the final hurdle where the Governor went ahead to place a signature.
The Governor went on to say that he was keen to place the first legal bet with the operators once they go live with betting.
10 retail locations & mobile phone betting
The bill presented by Rev. Timothy will see bettors placing their wagers on professional sports and will also have the opportunity to place wagers on Division 1 college sports which do not involve the New Hampshire-based colleges.
Under the bill, the state will see 10 retail locations set around for betting and on top of that, bettors will be allowed to place bets using their mobile phones. The lawmakers, however, noted that it would take some time for operators to set up their sports betting operations.
Lottery Commission to regulate
The new legalized sports betting industry will have the state’s Lottery Commission regulating it. There are some revenue projections expected from the wagering and this will see $7.5 million directed to the state’s education trust. This will be made possible in the fiscal year 2021 and in the fiscal year 2023, $13.5 million will be expected to be directed to the trust.
On the legalization of sports betting, Gov. Sununu said that the state was confident on the action citing that they would ensure it’s done responsibly. He went further to express his confidence with the Lottery Commission by saying they were conversant with what they would do. ‘It’s being done with an organization here at the lottery that just knows what they are doing.’ He said.
Two sides of the bill
On Rep. Timothy Lang’s part, he expressed his happiness stating that they were ‘bringing an illicit activity into the light for the citizens.’ He pointed out that the move would see the consumer protected.
The bill, however, did not have a smooth journey as it may seem with some legislators opposing the bill. One of the reasons for the opposition pointed to the legislators saying that New Hampshire would increase its reliance on the problematic revenue sources. The legislators pointed to ‘sin taxes’ as a reference. Sin taxes have been those taxes collected from cigarettes and alcohol in the state.
On the flip side, the proponents noted that with illegal sports betting brought out in the open, the problem gamblers would get the required support from the state which would be through an organization that would see the state’s residents educated, as well as, preventing and treating the problem gamblers.