There are a number of states looking to push forward with sports betting legalization. New Hampshire is making good progress as a new bill regulating sports betting passed the House with a majority vote of 269-82 and now heads to the Senate.
House Bill 480 will authorize New Hampshire’s lottery commission to regulate the sports betting industry in the state. Governor Chris Sununu earlier voiced his support for regulated sports betting when he made his budget address in February. This will make it easy for sports betting to finally become legal in New Hampshire once the legislation clears the chamber as the Governor will be the final party to sign the bill into existence.
Supporters of this bill state that a regulated sports betting market will hugely benefit the state’s education system as more money will go towards education through revenue generated by sports betting. If betting is legalized, locals will have better protection – something the illegal sports betting market cannot provide.
Opponents of the bill argue that regulating the state’s sports gambling market will result in more residents becoming victims of problem gambling, adding to the enormous workload currently being carried by mental health workers.
Concerns Addressed at UNH Law Forum
The legislation passed the House earlier this week and soon after a congregation of legislators, legal experts, industry stakeholders, alongside lottery executives from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, assembled at the University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord to discuss the impacts of legalizing sports betting in the state.
Charlie McIntyre, executive director of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, said the legalization of sports betting will provide better consumer protection, while at the same time give a boost to resources that help gambling addicts.
House Bill 480 will set aside 10 percent of revenue for services supporting the treatment and prevention of problem gambling in the state. A percentage will also be earmarked for New Hampshire’s education system.
The bill is a “pace-setter” in addressing public health concerns surrounding gambling, said Daniel Wallach, an attorney specializing in gaming law and sports wagering. The black market does not offer gambling safeguards and hence it made a lot of sense to proceed with sports betting legislation in the state.
Educational Services Could Receive $13.5 Million By 2023
A regulated sports betting market in New Hampshire could generate between $1.5 million and $7.5 million in revenue in 2021, which would then be funneled into the state’s education trust. Legislators supporting the bill, estimate that revenue going into the state’s education system could be as high as $13.5 million by 2023.
McIntyre told the audience at the forum that the lottery commission has been a key financial supporter of New Hampshire education, giving all its profits to the sector. He said regulated sports gambling will provide a much needed revenue boost.
However, critics are skeptical about the lottery being a big financial contributor to the state’s education system. Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky believes that the revenue is not very significant as the lottery is only giving 2.5 percent which equates to “nothing”.
Calling the lottery a “sham”, Volinsky said the commercials mislead people into thinking the lottery is shouldering New Hampshire’s education expenses. According to him, the public is being deceived
Bill Will Permit Mobile And Retail Gambling
Under the new bill, mobile and retail gambling will be allowed in the state once the legislation is approved by Sununu. This means players can make wagers through an app on their smartphone. Mobile betting is expected to generate most of the sports betting revenue in the state.
Towns within the state will be given the option to accept betting lounges where people can watch games and wager. A bar or resort would also be allowed to have a retail sports book. The state can approve up to 10 sports betting facilities.
If the sports betting legislation is finally approved, players would be permitted to bet on professional sports events and college games, provided they don’t involve a state team like Dartmouth or UNH. This is to maintain the integrity of the games.
UNH Law Associate Dean Michael McCann said with the legalization of sports betting, a more transparent dialogue on the issues surrounding the industry can take place, which will play an important role in addressing public concerns in relation to sports betting.

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