Online Gambling Under Discussion in New Hampshire

by Jim Hall

New HampshireA new bill has been introduced in New Hampshire that would remove online gambling from a list of gambling activities that are considered illegal.

Online gambling is a subject that is currently being considered in many states across the nation. Only three states provide real money online gambling today, Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada. Such states as California, Pennsylvania, New York and many more have been considering the option for some time now. Another state has now been added to the list of states showing interest in iGaming. A bill was recently introduced in New Hampshire that would remove the activity from a list of illegal gambling acts and allow international operators to offer services in the state.

New Hampshire’s New Bill

HB 562 is the new bill introduced this month in the state that has language to allow online gaming to take place in New Hampshire as well as provide international operators like PokerStars the ability to offer services to players.

House Representatives Robert Fisher, Nick Zaricki and Eric Schleien are the sponsors of the legislative proposal which is set to be heard today by the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill is titled Allowing Online Gambling and would consider the activity a legal one under the gambling regulations currently in place for the state. If the proposal were to pass, iGaming would be put into play on the 1st of January 2018.

The sponsors of the bill stated that the measure will have an impact on expenditures that are related to investigating and prosecuting online gaming offenses. Thus far, the Department of Justice has not prosecuted such offenses.

The difference between the proposal in New Jersey and other states is that this bill will change the way online gaming is interpreted based on current state laws instead of creating a comprehensive regulatory framework to set regulations as to how the activities should be conducted.

Current Gambling Situation in New Hampshire

In the state, gambling is currently regulated by the Racing and Charitable Gaming Commission. Revenues that are generated by the gambling venues of the state have been used for charitable institutions. New Hampshire does not have a full scale casino but there are proponents for such gaming. Players have to visit card rooms to play casino games which include roulette and blackjack. Ten such properties are currently licensed in the state.

Daily Fantasy Sports in the Mix

Like other states in the US, New Hampshire is not only considering online gaming but also daily fantasy sports. The state is pushing to see DFS contests allowed in its borders via HB 580-FN-A. Earlier in the month, several representatives in the House decided to introduce the measure, which presents the definitions needed for daily fantasy sports regulation as well as operation. This bill will also be heard by the committee today. If both bills pass, they will move forward in the hopes of passing into law. New Hampshire may be the next state to integrate some form of online gambling for residents and visitors.

2017 has been a busy year thus far with states like New Hampshire introducing legislation representing some form of online gaming. So far, we have seen measures proposed in various states involving casino gaming, online poker, daily fantasy sports and even sports betting. It seems that this year will be a time of change as states push ahead to join the three sole providers of online gaming options in the United States. It will be interesting to see how these bills are received during the committee hearing and if they can move forward to the next step in legislation.