There is a more than decent chance that after a handful of US states have their say on online sports betting, the total of jurisdictions permitting it will rise above 40 in 2023, or at least by the beginning of 2024. With 36 US states already offering legalized wagering on sports, and Missouri, Vermont and Texas all debating the possibility, the New England state of New Hampshire could also be about to take action that will allow its residents to bet online. A near-neighbor of Vermont, New Hampshire shares a lot of characteristics with its fellow North-Eastern state and tends to take similar political steps.
The primary beneficiary of any legalized betting proceeds, it is understood, would be New Hampshire’s tertiary-level students, with the money expected to fund free community college tuition for those who need it. This has been a solid encouragement for many lawmakers to back forthcoming legislation, as a more educated workforce is expected to benefit the state’s economy beyond the cost of it.
Most of New England has already passed legislation permitting betting or is in the process of doing so. Connecticut and Rhode Island already have legal betting, while Massachusetts is expecting its platforms to go live in early March and Maine is in the later stages of activating its framework having already passed the legislation. There is little reason to assume that the efforts in Vermont, and now in New Hampshire, will encounter genuinely significant opposition in the legislature or beyond.
As of this moment, the intended legislation has placed a start date of January 1, 2024 for implementation of sports betting in the state. The principal opposition to passage of the bill comes from lawmakers concerned that the existing brick-and-mortar casinos in New Hampshire might see a drop in revenues as a result of the legislation being passed. At this stage there is no word on a compromise to avoid this, but in other states with similar concerns, the issue has been assuaged with agreements between online sportsbooks and the casinos themselves, who have joined forces and shared revenue.
Regardless of whether a compromise of this sort ends up being necessary to pass the bill, it is considered likely that New Hampshire will become one of the growing number of states to adopt online sports betting in a legal way. The proposal would see online sports betting being overseen by the state lottery, which has been in operation for close to sixty years and, since it was established in 1964, has provided upwards of $2.4 billion for education in the state.
If New Hampshire joins with the other states in passing online sports betting, there will then be an ever-smaller number of states in the union that do not have legislation in place to regulate wagering – with the main standouts being Florida, California and Georgia. That’s if Texas, as expected, brings legislation before its voters this November and sees it passed, which polling has suggested will be the case.