NETimeGambling.com is bringing you an updated series that will culminate with a huge announcement. This series of posts will look into each state as of today, in the summer of 2022. We will start north and work our way to the coastline. Our second installment is in New Hampshire. Here is Gambling in New Hampshire-The Granite State.
New Hampshire’s original statutes banned all gambling activity. As a result, residents of the Granite State have access to precisely zero commercial casinos, and the tribal gaming industry is nonexistent.
The Granite State has tried several times to get a “real” casino within its borders, but the legislature turned down proposals every time. In comparison, New Hampshire’s poker rooms thrive!
New Hampshire has a unique legal environment when it comes to poker. In a traditional sense, New Hampshire does not allow poker rooms or casinos in the state. However, that doesn’t mean that poker is not allowed.
The various locations throughout the state are home to more than 300 poker tables with games running on any night.
After subsequent amendments, the max bet was incrementally raised over the years until a 2015 law ended the bet limitations. However, the law still maintains that players cannot buy in for more than $250 in a game session, so the games in New Hampshire can never get too big. With that said, the industry shows no signs of slowing down. According to PokerAtlas.com, “New Hampshire’s poker scene is thriving.”
Nearly 400 charitable organizations receive funds through 27 small-scale venues such as malls and pubs.
Since then, bills have carved out different availability areas, which you will see below.
New Hampshire Gambling Timeline
- 1933: Pari-mutuel horse racing betting was made legal.
- 1949: First charity gambling act legalizes bingo, raffles, and lucky 7.
- 1964 – The New Hampshire Lottery debuts as the first modern lottery game in the US. Along with this launch, New Hampshire was also part of the first multi-state lottery agreement (with Vermont and Maine) in 1985.
- 1963: Lottery (originally called “Sweepstakes”) introduced.
- 1971: Pari-mutuel betting on greyhound races is introduced.
- 1977 – New Hampshire expands its charitable gaming options to include poker and other table games as authorized games for nonprofit fundraising. Bingo, already legal in the state, is now categorized with these other games. The expansion is broad enough to allow for the creation of casino-like properties in New Hampshire. Registered charity organizations run all games.
- 2014: Charity gambling oversight strengthened; bet limits increased.
- 2017 – New Hampshire legalizes daily fantasy sports with highly favorable terms for companies offering DFS inside state lines. Companies must register with the state, and there is no tax or fee associated with registration or operation.
- 2017: Regulation begins for online daily fantasy sports contests.
- 2018 – The New Hampshire Lottery introduces iLottery games to the public. These games allow New Hampshire inhabitants to place bets on instant win games through their computers or mobile devices.
- 2019 – New Hampshire authorizes both online and retail sports betting. DraftKings’ debut in mid-2020 was the first retail sportsbook in New Hampshire.
- 2019: Sports betting (retail and online) regulated.
- 2020: First retail and online sportsbooks scheduled to open.
- As of January 12, 2022 – the New Hampshire Lottery celebrated reaching over $1 billion wagered through DraftKings. About $30 million goes to education
iLottery games are the closest gambling game to slot machines permitted in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire Lottery
New Hampshire didn’t invent the lottery. But, they were the first to bring legal, state-administered lottery games back within the law in 1964. New Hampshire was the first state to introduce a lottery, and it has pari-mutuel betting laws and an extensive charity gambling system.
New Hampshire was the first state to launch a state-administered lottery.
Despite the blanket ban on casinos, as most know them, New Hampshire is home to hundreds of blackjack, craps, roulette, and poker tables. But, thanks to a clever workaround in the state’s harsh gambling prohibitions, New Hampshire has authorized games of chance to be played on behalf of charitable organizations since 1977.
Clubs, poker rooms, and former racetracks represent nearly 400 charities as small-scale casino venues. Players can wager on the same casino games in other New England states, only at considerably smaller stakes. New Hampshire contributes 35% of all gaming revenue directly to local organizations.
A new addition in the country and New Hampshire is the use of Historical Horse Racing machines, which have been around since the late 1990s.
New Hampshire’s “Casinos”
There are small poker rooms, and then there are small “casinos,” all of which come under the category of Charitable Gaming Facilities. However, poker rooms usually have few games besides poker and much fewer amenities.
Historical Horse Racing Machines
Historical racing machines (HHR) look and operate like other gaming machines. However, HHRs determine winners based on previously run horse races instead of randomizing the outcome. The game looks like a traditional slot machine game and functions like placing a wager at an OTB Kiosk. The results are displayed as a graphical representation of a past horse race.
Here’s how Joshua at KnowYourSlots.com expresses it. “The machines are set up so you can choose to watch or replay the actual outcome if that interests you. Or you can tuck it away and focus on the reels, which animate an outcome that coincides with the results of your wager. Bonuses are therefore completely predetermined, as the outcome of the horse race was decided in the past, so the game is just providing slot machine-style entertainment.”
Related Post – The Brook In New Hampshire Passes Five Million Mark
Gambling (aside from the charitable exception) is forbidden under state law. Therefore, one can assume that gambling via a computer or mobile device is still prohibited.
In New Hampshire, officials in November 2019 gave DraftKings exclusive access to online legal sports betting in the state. DK holds exclusive rights in the state after it offered to pay 51% of gross gaming revenue from mobile and 50% from future retail in a six-year deal. Those percentages decrease if other operators enter the market.
DraftKings could have up to 10 retail locations in the state and an online sportsbook that you can bet from a desktop browser or its app with your smartphone.
The Draftkings app is the only online sports betting app in New Hampshire and is affiliated with two state “casinos” – The Brook (DraftKings Sportsbook at the Brook) and Filotimo Casino (DraftKings Sportsbook at Manchester).
The legal age for indulging in sports bets is 18.
On August 12, 2020, DraftKings opened its first retail sportsbook in New Hampshire at The Brook casino in Seabrook. Eureka Casino Resorts renovated and rebranded the property after purchasing the facility in 2019.
For a more intense look at the regulations, click Guide to gambling law in New Hampshire.
It is legal to own a slot machine privately in New Hampshire at 25 years old or older.
New Hampshire Casinos & Poker Rooms
New Hampshire has poker and some casino-like games. Is one thing for sure – a real Brick-and-Mortar casino in NH? – Don’t count on it.