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Gambling In New Hampshire: Full Overview 2020

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Online Casino
Online Poker
Online Sports
(legal since: 07/12/2019)
Online Lotto
(legal since: 06/29/2017)
Online DFS
(legal since: 07/18/2017)

When it comes to casinos New Hampshire technically doesn’t have any to choose from. The granite state exists in an interesting position when it comes to wagering, as they have very specific rules as to what is allowed and what is not. And though some of the more popular facets of the wagering industry are not included in those lists, there are still some choices that are available to those who wish to wager in casino New Hampshire has to offer, with that list of options growing as the industry continues to grow around the nation. There is still plenty of work to be done, though.

In this guide to casino gambling in New Hampshire, find out the answer to the question of are casinos legal along with other important information that bettors should know before they get set to place their bets in casinos, sportsbooks, and everything else that is offered.

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New Hampshire gambling history and social importance

History: Not incredibly rich

The history of gambling in New Hampshire isn’t necessarily a bleak one, but it is one that has left something to be desired when compared to states such as Nevada and New Jersey among other states. The start of the history of wagering in New Hampshire came in 1933, when horse racing and greyhound betting were legalized. Lottery action was added into the mix in 1963, with the formation of the Sweepstakes Commission.

In 1977, the start of the casino industry took shape in New Hampshire, as charitable casinos New Hampshire was looking for were made legal. These facilities were authorized to offer table games like blackjack where a chunk of the funds generated were given to charity with a maximum wager of $4. However, that is where the momentum stopped for wagering in New Hampshire. In 2009, off-track betting was made illegal and in 2014, a proposal for a full-scale casino was voted down.

For those who were looking to wager for higher stakes, 2015 was a good year, as New Hampshire changed its betting limit at charitable casino facilities from $4 to $150. And while the remainder of the 2010s has served as a time filled with positive decisions on sports betting and daily fantasy sports, there have been some missed opportunities for those looking to wager throughout New Hampshire.

New Hampshire

Social importance: On the back burner

Gambling in New Hampshire hasn’t exactly been something that has carried a high degree of social importance in the state. The reason for that is the fact that there hasn’t been clearance to take part in too much of it. Without the ability to play slots machines or wager online, many in New Hampshire are missing out on all of the opportunities that they could take advantage of if there were more of them at their disposal. Instead, the social importance of betting here has been more centered around the charitable ramifications of playing at charitable casinos.

Legal situation of casinos and online casinos in New Hampshire 2020

Land-based casinos: Charitable gaming only

As of right now, the land-based casino situation in New Hampshire is nonexistent. For those who want a casino in New Hampshire Hampton Beach or anywhere else in the state will be disappointed to know that there aren’t any formal casinos that exist there. Instead, there are charitable gaming facilities that have made it so that bettors are free to take part in some forms of gaming, but those forms of gaming are limited to include table games like blackjack, poker, and bingo to name a few without covering slots machines or other popular wagering disciplines.

  • Bettors can play table games at charitable facilities
  • No slots available
  • Poker available in many locations

Legal situation for land-based casinos: On uneven footing

Is it legal to bet in a casino in New Hampshire? Technically it is, although it is very convoluted as far as making that possible is concerned. It isn’t legal for a casino to actually exist in the state of New Hampshire. A casino New Hampshire Indian tribes or any other group want to open wouldn’t be permitted. However, the state does allow boats that offer casino gambling to be within the state for 48 hours at a time. So it is technically legal to utilize a casino in New Hampshire, but bettors have to jump through a large number of hoops if they are going to get to that point.

Online casinos: Nothing yet

When it comes to the online casino New Hampshire doesn’t have any options to choose from either. That is because online casino play is not legal either. There is no charitable gaming on the internet, which is the only form of New Hampshire based gambling that is permitted. As a result, bettors aren’t able to take to their preferred online casinos and can’t play the games that they want to in an online setting. Whether or not that changes in the future remains to be seen, but the current situation does not look promising.

Legal situation for online casinos: Explicitly illegal

New Hampshire online casino gaming is legitimately illegal at this point in time as it has been codified into law that there is to be no online casino play. Other states are legalizing online casino play among other forms of online wagering, but there do not appear to have been any tries to open up the wagering menu in New Hampshire to include casino wagering online. There are plenty of neighboring states or nearby states that offer online casino gaming, but travel is required for those who want to get involved in this type of betting.

Market prediction for the future

When it comes to the future for casino and online gambling New Hampshire doesn’t seem to have much going for it in the way of promise. It is unfortunate, as this seems to be one of the truly untapped markets in the industry around the united states. But there seems to be no interest from the powers that be to authorize sports betting or any other kind of wagering, which is something that could very much add excitement to those located in that state. It is always possible that the stance on casino gaming changes in the future.

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Legal situation of sports betting and online betting in New Hampshire 2020

Land-based betting operators/racetracks: Working things out

Betting on sports is one of the forms of betting that is permitted in New Hampshire, as the state is starting to figure things out in that regard. It looks like DraftKings Sportsbook will be involved in the sports betting offerings that are made available, with negotiations taking place between them and New Hampshire as the state looks for sports betting operators that they are going to permit to offer their services to those located throughout. There are expected to be several brick and mortar locations that will be available once the details are worked out.

Legal situation for land-based betting operators/racetracks: Finally permissable

Is it legal to bet on sports in New Hampshire? It is technically legal at this point, thanks to the passage of House Bill 480 in New Hampshire. That is a huge step forward for sports bettors in NH, however they are not free to bet on sports legally just yet. This is because New Hampshire is in the process of working with different sportsbook operators to get them licensed and decide who they want to accept as the provider of sports betting throughout the state. Once that takes place, though, those operators will be free to work with the land-based casinos in order to start taking bets.

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Online sports betting: On the horizon

Betting on sports online is a key option, as bettors don’t want to have to drive all the way to a physical establishment and risk missing out on getting the best possible odds that exist for a matchup or risk missing the start of an event altogether. Fortunately, that shouldn’t be a problem with New Hampshire, as bettors can expect to see legal online sports betting in the state in the near future. For now, there is no available sports wagering in person or online as the state gets its licensing done, but the future is looking bright for this portion of the industry.

Legal situation for betting sites: Legal in NH

While it isn’t possible to bet on sports online just yet in NH, bettors can take solace in the fact that it is coming. Thanks to the aforementioned House Bill 480, legal online sports betting is on its way. It looks like New Hampshire is having different prospective online operators bid for the right to operate in the state, and there is the potential for up to 10 online sports wagering operators that will likely have to be licensed through some sort of physical location in NH.

Market prediction for the future

In the future, sports betting in New Hampshire looks like it has a lot of promise. It is clear that the state is willing to accept a large number of licensed operators, which should give bettors a lot of options that they can choose from when they place their sports bets. That kind of competition should open the door to better promotions and odds for players, along with adding as much convenience as possible to the process of placing a bet. How the future of the industry shapes up in New Hampshire could provide the blueprint for other states who have previously been averse to gambling legalization.

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Legal situation of poker rooms and online poker in New Hampshire 2020

Land-based poker rooms: Charitable poker only

Is there poker at New Hampshire casinos? As of right now, the answer could be taken as a yes, but there aren’t exactly casinos that bettors can take advantage of in the present. There are charitable gaming facilities like the Seabrook casino New Hampshire residents can enjoy. Those facilities do have poker and table games like blackjack, but lack some of the other options that bettors have grown to know and love. But for poker players, the presence of poker at some of these charitable gaming rooms is good enough.

Legal situation for land-based poker rooms: Not ideal

In terms of the legality of land-based poker rooms in NH, bettors are in a difficult spot, though not as difficult as other forms of gaming. Bettors are free to play at land-based charitable gaming facilities legally, which often include poker and table games like blackjack. At those locations, it is legal to play poker at a land-based facility. But there is nothing to make full on casino gaming legal in New Hampshire, which means that poker at a casino isn’t possible for those who might like to take on a more serious poker playing atmosphere.

Online poker: Not in NH

New Hampshire online casino gaming is something that isn’t looking like it is going to be coming anytime soon. There is no way to legally play online poker through one of these sites, even though there are so many poker sites out there that would love to take the action of players from the state. As of right now, the only option for poker players in New Hampshire is to go to a land-based charitable gaming facility where players would have to hope that they could find enough action to satisfy their needs.

Legal situation for online poker: No legal online action

Just like with any online casino New Hampshire has blocked attempts to legalize the online poker industry in the recent past. There have been some attempts to make poker gaming legal throughout the state, but they have been unsuccessful in the same ways that attempts to broaden the casino gaming marketplace have fallen short. While land-based charitable gaming is still an option, the inability to access several of the popular online poker sites out there is a serious blow to anyone who wants to take poker seriously in NH.

Market prediction for the future

The future of poker in New Hampshire seems similar to the future of online gambling New Hampshire has built for itself. That is to say that the future doesn’t look entirely bright. The lack of attention paid to the gambling industries in the state has been unfortunate, and poker sadly seems to be suffering from those decisions. It would be great to see online poker introduced into the state’s gambling mix at some point, even if it was just through some of the existing offshore operators. But for now, the future of poker throughout the state doesn’t look like anything to get particularly excited about.

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Legal situation of lotteries and online lottery in New Hampshire 2020

Lottery action isn’t quite as exciting as more traditional betting options like casino gaming or poker, but bettors are still able to do more with the lottery than they are free to do with just about anything else from a betting perspective in New Hampshire. There is legal lottery betting in New Hampshire both on and offline, with June of 2017 bringing about legislation that legalized the selling of lottery tickets online to those who wanted to get involved in drawings or in scratch-off scenarios. New Hampshire is involved with multiple groups of states when it comes to the lottery, as they are members of both the Multi-State Lottery Association and the Tri-State Lottery. This has allowed lottery players in the state to take part in drawings with prizes from big to small, including the Mega Millions and Powerball, while NH has also been the state to host Tri-State Lottery drawings.

Legal situation of daily fantasy sports in New Hampshire 2020

Daily fantasy sports is also something that is legal to do in New Hampshire despite the fact that so many other types of betting are not options throughout the state. Bettors were permitted to take on DFS action in 2017, when the passage of House Bill 580 took place. While traditional sports betting is still in the works in New Hampshire, players are able to set lineups and enter contests at popular fantasy sports sites such as DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo. Why daily fantasy sports was seen as a permissable form of gambling while so many others are not in New Hampshire is something that is hard to explain, but the fact that New Hampshire has warmed up to this type of betting has made it possible that they could do the same with online casino play or physical casinos down the road to introduce slots machines or other forms of fun to the state.

New Hampshire Gambling

Legal situation of social casino in New Hampshire 2020

Social casino gaming is perhaps the only form of online gaming that isn’t banned in New Hampshire. Unlike traditional casino gaming, players at social casinos aren’t risking any of their real money. Instead, they can play games that resemble casino entries such as slots machines or table games like blackjack for free using virtual currency that doesn’t cost anything and has no value. Instead, players can compete with their friends in these environments with the hopes of winning more than their competitors to end up at the top of leaderboards and other places where they are recognized. Given that there is no legal online casino play in New Hampshire, the social gaming scene allows players to have fun with little to no stakes, plus it allows them to compete against one another in a way that is perfectly legal and should stay that way for the years to come.

Conclusion: Just getting started

The wagering industry in New Hampshire feels like it is more or less in its infancy, thanks to a series of laws that haven’t made it possible to take on many forms of betting whatsoever. Compared to nearby states like New Jersey, New Hampshire leaves a lot to be desired for bettors, especially those who want to enjoy slots machines and online wagering. If the state can improve its betting prospects in the future to get with the times, it could be one of the more radical transformations in terms of a state’s attitudes toward the industry. But for now, bettors are playing a waiting game.

Gambling typeLegal status
Land-based casinosCasino, Poker, Sports
Online gamblingIllegal
Sports bettingOnline and offline in progress
LotteryOnline and offline
Daily fantasy sportsLegal
Minimum gambling age21