New Hampshire Sports Betting
New Hampshire quietly legalized sports betting in 2019. Gov. Chris Sununu made it clear that he expected to be able to wager on the New England Patriots, and he encouraged lawmakers to move forward with appropriate legislation in time for the NFL season.
They obliged with a bill that allowed for both online and retail sports betting. However, New Hampshire chose not to pursue a competitive market for either type of wagering. Instead, both online and retail betting primarily reside with DraftKings, which enjoys a monopoly over legal sports betting in the state.
Nevertheless, as single options go, DraftKings Sportsbook has plenty of positives for New Hampshire visitors and residents. Here’s a look at the various aspects of sports betting in New Hampshire.
Is sports betting legal in New Hampshire?
Where can I bet on sports in New Hampshire?
There are three retail sportsbooks open for business in New Hampshire. All three are DraftKings locations, with video screens and sports betting kiosks. There are no live teller windows at these locations, but you can still place a wager in person at these venues:
- Filotimo Casino & Restaurant — Dover
- Filotimo Casino & Restaurant — Manchester
- The Brook — Seabrook
Make sure to check the website of your chosen destination for its hours of operation.
Under New Hampshire law, there could be as many as 10 retail sports betting locations in the state. However, the placement of those locations is subject to voter approval from inside the various cities and communities in the state. So far, voters in 16 towns or cities have authorized DraftKings to place a sportsbook there. The towns in bold are the locations with active retail sportsbooks:
Is online sports betting legal in New Hampshire?
Yes. Online sports betting became legal in New Hampshire by virtue of the same law that legalized retail sports betting. Although New Hampshire has adopted a distinct model for managing its sports betting industry, online betting is undeniably available in the state.
What sportsbook apps are available in New Hampshire?
For the most part, online sports betting in New Hampshire begins and ends with DraftKings. DraftKings Sportsbook secured a near-monopoly with the New Hampshire Lottery in November 2019 and has been the only game in town, so to speak, ever since.
The lone exception is with the New Hampshire Lottery’s limited sports betting-related products. Greek technology supplier Intralot managed to secure the contract to power the lottery’s offerings through 2025.
The decision to accept DraftKings’ proposal from among the 13 that the lottery commission received caused some confusion at the time. However, it soon became clear that the revenue-sharing proposal that DraftKings floated — promising 51% of its revenue to the commission — proved to be the decisive factor.
DraftKings offered such a large revenue share to the state in exchange for a lockout on competition, something that the original law did not require. However, under the conditions of the contract, the addition of one or two additional sportsbooks chops DraftKings’ 51% tax obligation down to 21%. The percentage declines even more if New Hampshire allows three or more sportsbooks to compete with DraftKings in the state. Thus, New Hampshire and DraftKings have vested interests in each other, and there does not appear to be any push to allow other companies to have a bite at the apple.
As such, DraftKings Sportsbook NH is the only game in town. Here’s a closer look at the sportsbook app:
DraftKings Sportsbook has established itself as one of the premier sports betting companies in the US over the past few years. Part of its appeal stems from its various innovations. It was one of the first books to offer an option to cash out early to US bettors. It also offers a betting carousel of customized suggested wagers to each player who logs into the app.
DraftKings also offers a user-friendly app, with clear navigation and a smooth display to aid bettors. This ease of use is especially important for beginning and new sports bettors. There are many sports and types of bets available in New Hampshire, including what is likely DraftKings’ best feature — betting pools. Pools allow people to enter the sports betting equivalent of tournaments, where a small bet could lead to a large payout.
On the flip side, DraftKings does not offer the most competitive odds in the world, regardless of the number of competitors that it has. DraftKings could also stand to make its customer support more responsive and available to bettors.
- App rating: 4.8 (iOS)/4.6 (Android)
- Where DraftKings shines: Navigation and betting pools
- What could be better: Odds and customer support
- The bottom line: As single options go, DraftKings is a fine choice for people in New Hampshire to use as their sportsbook app.
New Hampshire sports betting law
New Hampshire’s sports betting law initially came from the passage and signing of HB 480-FN. The first line of the bill (now law) expresses the authorization thusly:
“The commission is authorized to operate a sports book for the purposes of accepting and paying sports wagers by authorized bettors within the state in conformance with the requirements of this chapter.“
The “commission” that the law references is the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, which serves as the oversight agency for sports betting in the state. Every bit of sports betting in New Hampshire flows, one way or another, through the state lottery.
The law provides for three types of betting tiers:
- Tier I: Pregame wagering
- Tier II: In-game wagering
- Tier III: Wagering that isn’t Tier I or Tier II
The law further clarifies Tier III bets as wagers that the lottery commission itself offers. In other words, the New Hampshire Lottery can offer its own wagers to bettors through lottery retailers. Although this provision would seem to open New Hampshire to a large number of retail options, the reality (so far) is that the commission has chosen to focus on its lottery and iLottery games.
Sports betting in the state is legal both in person and online. Here are some of the other key facets of the law:
- Bettors must be 18 or older.
- You can’t bet on college games taking place in New Hampshire.
- You also cannot bet on college teams from New Hampshire, regardless of where their game is taking place.
- The law also does not permit bets on high school sports or events with a majority of participants who are younger than 18.
- Players, referees, coaches, trainers and other principal actors in a particular sport may not wager on that sport.
- Voters must approve retail sportsbooks in their towns and cities before such a book may set up shop.
- There cannot be more than five online sportsbooks or 10 retail sportsbooks active in the state at any time.
The initial version of the law did not contain an explicit provision to allow for Tier II wagering. Thus, in the early days of New Hampshire sports betting, you could only place pregame bets. However, the passage of HB 330 authorized the placement of in-game wagers.
First drafts of HB 330 also sought to dissolve the cap on retail sportsbooks that limited the number of legal locations to 10. However, the final version of the bill stripped out that amendment, with lawmakers and the lottery director agreeing that there’s no immediate danger of reaching the threshold.
At this point, there is no definite push to expand sports betting in New Hampshire beyond its current form, and it’s not clear if any such push is likely anytime soon.
Popular sports to bet on in New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a small state, both in terms of population and land area. As such, it is not home to any major professional sports teams. In fact, there is only one significant minor league team that calls the Granite State home.
However, the 1.4 million residents of New Hampshire still have some definite favorites when it comes to teams. The state also prohibits betting on in-state college teams. So, here are some of the most popular teams and sports to bet on in New Hampshire:
- NFL: New England Patriots
- NBA: Boston Celtics
- MLB: Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays
- NHL: Boston Bruins
Other types of gambling in New Hampshire
There are more than a dozen gaming locations in New Hampshire. Most of them are either small cardroom-style venues or areas inside sports bars or restaurants. All of the locations are either operated by or on behalf of licensed charitable organizations in the state.
The games available under charitable gaming law in New Hampshire include blackjack, roulette, poker and other table games. Until recently, the law did not allow slot machines or their ilk at these locations. However, the passage and signing of HB 626 in 2021 now allows the 16 charitable gaming venues to offer betting on historical horse racing machines.
The end result is that there is little difference in New Hampshire between charitable gaming locations and outright casinos. They’re probably just a bit smaller, on average, in terms of space.
In addition to the casino games from charitable organizations in New Hampshire, there are also several places to play bingo and Lucky 7 in the state.
New Hampshire is no longer home to any live horse racing tracks.
The lone facility where you can make a wager in person on any type of racing is The Brook, home of the only racebook in the state, where you can place wagers on horse races that take place around the country and world.
If you don’t want to make the drive, however, you also have the option of placing wagers on horse racing through various horse betting sites in the state. Online racebooks like TVG and FanDuel offer all the wagers you would expect. TVG is also a network with around-the-clock broadcast coverage about handicapping.
New Hampshire has been offering lottery games longer than any other state in the union. The first game from the New Hampshire Lottery began in 1964, and the commission continues to sell its games today.
The lineup of New Hampshire Lottery games includes the typical retail options such as scratchers, aka instant win games, and Keno. Instant win games are also available online via the iLottery.
Bigger prizes are available through the draw games that the New Hampshire Lottery offers. The major multi-state drawings like Mega Millions and Powerball are active in the state, along with several other smaller drawings that are either specific to New Hampshire or only involve a few adjoining states.
How New Hampshire sports betting compares to Rhode Island and Connecticut
Although no two states are the same, it’s helpful to compare how other similar-sized states in the region — Rhode Island and Connecticut — have implemented sports betting.
|Retail sports betting||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Number of locations permitted||10||2||17|
|Online sports betting||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Number of online books permitted||5||1||3|
|Active online sportsbooks||DraftKings||Sportsbook Rhode Island||DraftKings|
|College sports betting||No in-state schools or events||No in-state schools or events||Betting on in-state schools only during tournaments|
|Other details||DraftKings has negotiated a monopoly with the NH Lottery||Retail casinos must also pay 32% of revenues to IGT||Apps are reserved for two tribes and the lottery commission|
As it happens, New Hampshire falls somewhere between these two states in terms of tax rates and what it permits. New Hampshire clearly favors the model in Rhode Island more than that of Connecticut, but DraftKings is not bound to pay the same tax rate as the Bally’s casinos in Rhode Island.
New Hampshire sports betting timeline
2019: The state legislature began consideration of legal sports betting in New Hampshire during its 2019 legislative session. While Gov. Chris Sununu included revenue from sports betting in his budget for the upcoming fiscal year, the passage of enabling legislation proved to be less than a sure thing.
Some legislators wanted to attach NH sports betting to long-sought legislation allowing for casinos in the state. That attempt put the immediate future of New Hampshire sports betting in question.
The proposal for NH sports betting was separated from the casino ask, allowing for it to move through the state legislature in the summer. Both chambers passed the bill, and Sununu signed it into law in July 2019.
A competitive bidding process administered through the state ultimately saw DraftKings Sportsbook selected as the lone mobile sports betting operator in New Hampshire. The former DFS giant will pay nearly half of NH sports betting revenue to the state as part of the arrangement.
While some speculation suggested sports betting could begin in New Hampshire by the end of 2019, the first month of 2020 became the actual launch date for mobile sports wagering in the state.
New Hampshire sports betting FAQ
Who oversees sports betting in New Hampshire?
The New Hampshire Lottery. The virtual monopoly that DraftKings enjoys in New Hampshire comes courtesy of an agreement with the lottery commission. Any other licensing that could potentially take place (unlikely) would flow through the New Hampshire Lottery.
How old do you have to be to bet in New Hampshire?
New Hampshire is one of the few states where you can legally bet on sports starting at age 18.
Do I have to be in New Hampshire to bet on sports?
Yes. Both federal and state law require that you be inside New Hampshire in order to bet on sports via the legal online sportsbook in the state. DraftKings’ geolocation verification software will have to be able to verify that you are inside state lines before you’ll be able to bet.
Why can I find online sportsbooks other than DraftKings in New Hampshire?
A web search might show you other online sportsbooks than DraftKings that claim to be legal in New Hampshire. However, those books are based outside the United States and operate outside the laws of the country and the state of New Hampshire. Their legality is dubious, at best, and they also carry additional security and privacy risks. Stick with DraftKings if you plan to bet on sports in New Hampshire.
Here are some resources that you can consult for additional information about wagering on sports in New Hampshire: