Online Betting Proposed in New Hampshire, Charitable Casinos Voice Concerns

A recently proposed bill would legalize online betting in New Hampshire. Revenue would allow many of the state’s students to attend community colleges for free.

A scenic view of New Hampshire
A scenic view of New Hampshire
A scenic view of New Hampshire, pictured above. The state is considering online betting. (Image:

The legislation, SB 104, was filed by state Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Tim Lang (R-Sanbornton). The bill is expected to raise $17 million for college tuition in the first year, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported, based on a state study.

Under the bill, the state’s lottery would oversee the betting. If approved, the law would take effect on Jan. 1, 2024. Currently, only a handful of other states allow for online betting.

Money could be applied to purchasing class books, fees, and tuition. It would be limited to New Hampshire residents who qualify for collegiate financial aid via Federal Pell Grants. The state’s economy would also benefit, as community college graduates would get the education and training needed to meet job requirements.

The bill has some bipartisan support, including Sen. David Watters (D-Dover).

There is some opposition to the New Hampshire proposal. Concerns have been voiced about what would happen to revenue generated by the state’s 13 brick-and-mortar charitable casinos.

Land-Based Venues at Risk

In other states, online betting has negatively impacted brick-and-mortar gaming venues.

We think it’s too soon to pursue another dramatic change in New Hampshire, and instead, we support a study of online gaming,” Peter Bragdon, who represents Churchill Downs, was quoted by the Union Leader. He is a former president of the New Hampshire state Senate.

Churchill Downs owns Chasers Poker Room in Salem, NH, the largest charitable casino in New Hampshire.

New charitable casinos were proposed recently in two New Hampshire communities: Concord and Lebanon. Local officials are currently reviewing proposals. Charitable casinos require 35% of gross revenue from the gaming property to be donated to approved charities every 10 days.

Lang also introduced the bill that legalized sports betting in the state. New Hampshire became the 14th state to launch legal sports betting in 2019.

DraftKings is New Hampshire’s solitary online and land-based sportsbook. Rebecca London, a government affairs manager for DraftKings, says Lang’s bill would benefit players who would be able to place legal bets.

“By legalizing it … with the lottery, we have that regulator to ensure we have the funds to pay our customers,” London said.

Records for New Hampshire Lottery

In September, the New Hampshire Lottery reported a sales record of more than $536.5 million during the 2022 fiscal year. That’s 3.3% more than the previous record of $519 million set in 2021.

The state’s lottery provided a record $146.3 million for education in the 2021 fiscal year.

Since its start in 1964, the New Hampshire Lottery has donated more than $2.45 billion to education.

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