Supporters bet on online casino games, expanded wagers to grow NH's gambling scene
Lawmakers in New Hampshire are considering a range of gambling bills that could bring online casinos, more bingo nights and larger poker tournaments to the state.
Under a introduced in a Senate committee Wednesday, private companies could offer online casino games to anyone physically located within the state who is over 17 years old, similar to the rules for , which became legal in New Hampshire in 2019.
The New Hampshire Lottery Commission forecasts online casino games could generate up to $17 million annually, with revenues directed toward a new scholarship fund for community college students.
A handful of other states, including Connecticut, already offer online casino games. In New Hampshire, adults can currently play lottery games similar to scratch tickets.
Rebecca London, a lobbyist for Massachusetts-based DraftKings, told the Senate Ways and Means Committee the casino bill “offers the state an opportunity to capitalize on a new form of revenue, providing citizens with new forms of entertainment, without having to raise taxes.”
Lawmakers are also considering to increase the maximum bets placed at charitable gaming facilities in the state, which award a portion of proceeds to a rotating series of nonprofits. Individual wagers on games like blackjack are currently capped at $10 but would go up to $50 under the measure. The maximum entry fee for in-person poker tournaments would also grow from $150 to $2,500. Rick Newman, who lobbies for charitable gaming facilities, said the move is necessary if the state wants to lure players from large New England casinos.
“We compete with Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun and Encore, who are able to offer larger buy-in tournaments, which attract players,” Newman told lawmakers.
Another bill under consideration would expand the number of games of allowed per month in approved facilities, from 10 to 16 events.