New Hampshire becomes latest state to offer sports betting

This June 28, 2019 photo shows one of the betting boards at the sports book in the Borgata casino in Atlantic City N.J.
This June 28, 2019 photo shows one of the betting boards at the sports book in the Borgata casino in Atlantic City N.J. –The Associated Press

New Hampshire became the second New England state to offer sports betting on Monday, with Republican Gov. Chris Sununu placing the first bet on the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl.

The $82 bet on his phone at a sports bar in Manchester kicks off sports betting online and on mobile devices after the state approved a six-year contract with DraftKings to operate sports books in the state. A state law allows anyone over 18 to participate. It also allows the state to set up retail locations to facilitate betting.

The wagering is expected to produce an estimated $7.5 million for education in fiscal year 2021 and $13.5 million two years later.

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“Sports betting is the right bet for New Hampshire,” Sununu said in a statement. “The launch of sports betting will also benefit our education system — a win for our kids.”

The contract between DraftKings and the New Hampshire Lottery was approved in late November by Executive Council, which advises the governor. New Hampshire will receive 50% of sports betting revenue.

DraftKings, which is headquartered in Boston, is planning to open an office in New Hampshire. It will also operate as many as 10 retail sportsbook locations throughout the state.

“As a New England-based company, DraftKings is honored to launch our American-made sportsbook product in New Hampshire for the start of the NFL playoffs,” Matt Kalish, chief revenue officer and co-founder, DraftKings, said in a statement.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 paved the way for states to allow sports betting. It is now underway in 14 states including Rhode Island and and approved but not yet running in another six states.

Michigan became the latest state to allow it after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation earlier this month to legalize sports betting and internet gambling. The laws take effect immediately, but wagering will not start for a number of months because commercial and tribal casinos need to obtain state licenses.

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