New Hampshire, also known as the Granite State, offers a very limited range of gambling activities to visitors and residents. In the past, the state has opposed the idea of online gambling but with recent legislative efforts, it appears that lawmakers may be coming around to it. The state has recently authorized online horse racing betting, the sale of lottery tickets online and daily fantasy sports games. Let’s take a look at where the Granite State stands on sports betting.

Is it legal to bet on sports in New Hampshire?

No, New Hampshire has yet to legalize wagering on the outcome of professional and collegiate sporting events. However, residents can place pari-mutuel wagers on horse racing online via websites like TVG, BetAmerica and TwinSpires.

Lawmakers in the state are currently considering two bills that would legalize sports betting, both of which were introduced at the start of 2019. The first bill, SB 310, would legalize sports betting and allow two new gambling facilities to operate in the state. The proposed bill would also establish a gaming enforcement division within the state police and establish the “gambling addiction prevention fund.” The second bill, HB 480, would “establish a system within the lottery commission for sports betting.”

At the moment, both bills have received a massive level of support and it appears that New Hampshire could legalize sports betting by the end of the 2019 legislative session.

Where will I be able to place bets on sporting events in New Hampshire?

According to HB 480, sports betting could take place at up to 10 lottery retailers as 10 licenses will be available. This bill would also legalize online and mobile sports betting. On the other hand, the passage of SB 310 would allow sports betting to take place at casinos and through an “online sports pool operator.”

What sports will I be able to bet on?

Both bills would authorize wagering on professional and collegiate sporting events such as football, baseball, basketball and hockey. There is, however, one caveat: both bills would prohibit wagering on the outcome of events involving New Hampshire’s college teams or collegiate events that takes place in New Hampshire.

What else can I bet on in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire’s gambling offering is fairly limited. Residents in the state can play the state lottery which offers a variety of games as well as interstate drawings. Lottery tickets can also be purchased online. In the absence of sports betting, the state permits real money fantasy sports games and online horse racing betting.

Commercial and online casinos may be illegal in New Hampshire but that doesn’t mean residents can’t play a variety of casino-style games. A handful of smaller gambling venues called ‘card rooms’ operate in the state and are classed as a form of charitable gambling, as the profits go towards good causes in the state. These venues offer a range of casino-style games, such as:

  •    Poker
  •    Roulette
  •    Blackjack
  •    Bingo

Tribal gambling venues are also legal in the state of New Hampshire but there aren’t any tribal gambling venues currently operating in the state.

Are offshore gambling sites legal in New Hampshire?

Offshore gambling sites are technically illegal in New Hampshire. Although state law does not specifically mention offshore gambling sites, online gambling is illegal in the state (with the exception of horse racing and fantasy sports). As offshore gambling sites are a form of illegal gambling, they fall under the umbrella of unlawful gambling.

Aside from the legality of offshore gambling sites, we recommend avoiding them as these sites aren’t regulated and don’t have permission to serve US customers. As offshore sites aren’t regulated, they are not subject to basic regulatory standards in the state. This means that offshore sites may not have implemented industry standard security and player protection measures. There’s also no guarantee that your funds will be safe with offshore betting sites. Whereas licensed operators usually hold player money in accounts separate from their own, or that of any other players, there’s no guarantee you’ll have this protection with an unlicensed gambling operator.

You can spot offshore gambling sites by looking at the website’s domain name – domains ending in .EU or .AG aren’t licensed to operate in New Hampshire.

Will it be safe to bet on sports in New Hampshire?

Yes, the state places a strong emphasis on player protection and any sports betting regulation introduced will be sure to reflect this. In fact, SB 310 contains provisions that would create the gaming enforcement division of the state police and would establish the gambling addiction prevention fund.

However, bettors still have a responsibility to make sure they are gambling within reason. To ensure that gambling remains fun and safe, bettors should never gamble more than they can afford to or chase loses. If you feel that gambling is having a negative effect in your life, or that you may be suffering from problem gambling there are several resources available to you.

The National Council on Problem Gambling has several resources to help identify gambling addiction and runs a national helpline. New Hampshire’s residents can also reach out to the New Hampshire Council on Problem Gambling, a private non-profit agency that aims to tackle the spread of problem gambling through education and prevention services.

You can contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline via:

Call: +1-800-522-4700

Text: +1-800-522-4700

Live Chat

You can contact the New Hampshire Council on Problem Gambling via:

Call: +1-603-724-1605

Email: probgambnh@aol.com

Get Help

Who regulates gambling in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire’s Racing and Charitable Gaming Division is responsible for overseeing the fantasy sports games, wagering on horse racing and charitable gambling activities. The state lottery is overseen by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission.

In New Hampshire, residents must be 18 years old to play the lottery and bingo. The legal age for betting on horse racing and playing at card rooms is 21.

The journey to legal and regulated sports betting in New Hampshire

1784 – New Hampshire’s Constitution came into effect. Within the constitution, it stated that lottery revenue was restricted to funding educational programs only.

1906 –New Hampshire’s first race track, Rockingham Park, opened its doors. However, betting on races was never legalized. illegal.

1933 – In April, New Hampshire legalized the first ever form of gambling in the state by authorizing pari-mutuel wagering on horse and greyhound racing. Within two months of legalization, Rockingham Park hosted the first legal betting event in the state.

1949 – The state revised its regulations, authorizing bingo and pull-tab games.

1953 – Representative Larry Pickket introduced a bill that would create America’s first-ever state lottery program. The bill failed to receive enough support to progress past the introductory stages.

1963 – On its fifth attempt, Pickket’s lottery bill was successful and in April New Hampshire’s governor signed the bill into law.

1964 – In March, a special election was held where voters decided if they wanted their district to take part in the state lottery. 198 of the state’s 211 municipalities voted to join the lottery. Two days after the vote, the first state lottery tickets went on sale.

1971 – The state’s Greyhound Racing Commission was formed.

1977 – Lawmakers approved legislation allowing casino-style games of chance such as roulette to take place, as long as the proceeds were allocated to charitable organizations.

1982 – The State Racing Commission merged with the Greyhound Racing Commission to form the Pari-Mutuel Commission. This body oversees greyhound racing and horse racing.

1991 – The state granted licensed horse racing tracks permission to offer wagers on races broadcast from other venues.

1992 – Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) placing a federal ban on sports betting across the nation. Oregon, Nevada, Delaware and Montana were granted a partial exemption from PASPA, as these states already had laws in place for legal sports betting.

1995 – New Hampshire joined the Multi-State Lottery Association allowing the state to participate in inter-state lottery games.

2009 – Live greyhound racing was banned, and live horse racing ended after the state stopped funding the activity.

2012 – Lawmakers voted to ban Internet sweepstakes, banning subscription-based gambling offerings available online.

2014 – A bill that sought to authorize two full-scale commercial casinos was defeated by a narrow vote of 173 to 172 in the House.

2017 – In January, New Hampshire Representative Gary Azarian introduced a bill to legalize daily fantasy sports. The bill received final approval  in July 2017, legalizing real money daily fantasy sports games

2018 – On 14 May, the Supreme Court reached a decision in the legal battle between New Jersey and the US sports leagues. In a seven to two vote, it was agreed that one of the clauses in PASPA violated the Tenth Amendment, as it commandeered power from states to regulate their own gambling industries. This paved the way for all US states to decide whether or not sports betting should be legalized. In the weeks after the repeal of PASPA, a number of US sportsbooks launched across the country.

2019 – In January, two sports betting bills were introduced in New Hampshire. HB 480 and SB 310 would both legalize sports betting in New Hampshire, but SB 310 goes one step further and would also legalize casino gambling in the state.

Lawmakers are now considering both bills and it is possible that sports betting could become legal in the state before the end of the 2019 session. For the latest regulatory updates on sports betting in New Hampshire check back with BettingUS.