If a New Hampshire online casinos bill is approved this year, three to five sites may be able to launch on April 1, 2024.
So reads SB104, introduced on Jan. 5 and explained further by its primary sponsor on Jan. 25. New Hampshire Sen. Timothy Lang, R-Sanbornton, spoke in the Senate Ways and Means Committee about the bill he wrote.
Lang estimates in the legislation that if the bill is approved, New Hampshire online casino gambling will become legal on Jan. 1, 2024.
The bill states that sites managed by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission may launch on April 1, 2024, bringing in $17 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR) during the first year.
At a 35% tax rate, tax revenue may increase from $5.3 million during the first year to $31.5 million by the third.
Lang wants that tax revenue to result in free in-state tuition for financially eligible students. New Hampshire needs more skilled workers, he said. To make that happen, the bill creates a Community College Scholarship Fund.
New Hampshire Online Casinos Bill Like Sports Betting Law
Lang said he was the primary sponsor for the bill behind New Hampshire’s 2019 online sports betting law. So it’s no coincidence that much of SB104’s language sounds familiar.
Now, DraftKings Sportsbook provides legal betting in New Hampshire.
At the Jan. 25 hearing, Rebecca London – a government affairs manager at DraftKings – testified in favor of the New Hampshire online casinos bill.
We take pride in our partnership with the New Hampshire Lottery as an authorized agent of online and retail sports betting. Online gaming, such as that that is contemplated in SB104, 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.
She said online casino gambling wouldn’t “cannibalize” other forms of gambling revenue.
That’s an objection to legal online casino gambling that retail casino owners have raised in other states.
London provided the example of New Jersey’s continued revenue growth since 2018 “across all gaming sectors,” including lottery, retail casinos, sports betting, and online casino.
Actually, it will cannibalize brick-and-mortar gambling establishments, testified former New Hampshire Sen. Peter Bragdon. He spoke on behalf of horse racing betting’s Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI).
In New Hampshire, brick-and-mortar gaming establishments are called “charitable gaming” because their revenue benefits charities.
Shouldn’t we also have a better understanding of how this new gaming model [historical horse racing] is working before we introduce yet something else, online gaming, that could actually have a negative impact on charitable gaming?
We think it’s too soon to pursue another broad change to gambling in New Hampshire and respectfully suggest that we proceed cautiously and roll a study of online gaming into the study on historical horse racing and charitable gaming.
Lang told the committee earlier:
In New Hampshire, the only gaming that’s allowed is the gaming that’s authorized by the state. This would extend the authorized gaming to include online gaming and any of the functions that are allowed by charitable gaming – with the exception, I believe, of HHR – would be eligible for online gaming.
So we’re talking about Texas Hold ‘Em, poker, those kind of games, that are currently allowed in charitable gaming we would allow for an online gaming model.
The committee ended the meeting without voting on SB104.