Online Gambling Up For Discussion Again in New Hampshire

by Kyle Miller

New HampshireLegislators are taking a look at online gambling once again in New Hampshire. 

Across the United States, individual states are considering their gambling options. Some states are looking to license new gaming venues while others are just getting started with the lottery or bingo games. For several states, the goal for 2017 is to pass legislation in regards to online gaming. We have been watching Pennsylvania for many months now as they seemed close to being the next state to pass legislation and begin offering casino and poker gaming online. Now, a new state is in the mix. Legislators in New Hampshire are now reportedly discussing online gambling again after legislation sat in Congress for several months.

HB 562-FN

The bill HB 562-FN was last reported on back in August when the bill was tossed aside during a sub-committee consideration. It seemed the bill was dead and that it would not be brought back on the table, at least this year. However, it seems now, the bill has resurfaced and legislators are looking at considering the online gambling bill once again.

The measure is sponsored by three representatives of the state: Robert Fisher, Nick Zaricki and Eric Schleien. The bill has now been added to the schedule to be considered on October 25th during the executive session. The bill was first introduced a few months ago and is considered a stub as it seeks to insert a new subparagraph to current legislation.

The bill would exempt gambling completed over the internet via a connection to a website from the list of offenses involving illegal gambling in the state. The bill also includes the information that the Department of Justice has not investigated or prosecuted any offenses of online gambling and the bill should not have an impact on expenditures.

Online Lottery Instead?

It is believed by some that the bill to authorize online gambling is being slowed down or delayed due to online lottery legalization. The state seems more interested in getting online lottery ticket sales off the ground and a bill has already been introduced. In July, the Governor of the state, Chris Sununu, signed a measure that will introduce keno gaming, with proceeds going to fund full day kindergarten.

There is the possibility that the online gambling legislation HB 562-FN will be merged with the bill involving the online lottery ticket sales. The measure was short and needs to be changed if it were to stand alone. Essentially, online gambling could easily include lottery gaming, considering that an impact would be made on the lottery industry as well as charitable gaming revenues if online gaming were to come to pass.

If the measure introduced by the three representatives is voted on in October and happens to move forward into passage, the new law would take effect by the 1st of January 2018. This would essentially let the state get started with online gambling options rather quickly.

It will certainly be interesting to see if this measure can gain any headway. It seems online gambling fans in the United States have been disappointed time and time again as legislation fails to move forward. For once, it would be nice to see legislation created, moved forward and passed into law without delay. While we are further than we were last year, with more states considering online gambling legislation, there are still only three states in the US that offer such gaming. It would be nice to see even more states join the fray which would essentially help even more states feel comfortable enough to move forward with creating and passing online gambling legislation.