New Hampshire Could Be The First US State To Allow High Street Betting Shops

New Hampshire looks set to allow the openings of dedicated sports betting shops – something that’s been commonplace on high streets in the UK and other countries.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives was recently introduced to Bill HB 480-FN, and it looks set to allow gambling operators to open up premises solely for the purpose of taking sports bets from punters.

In order to place a wager, bettors will need to be aged 18 or above – and there may be more conditions attached, although these are not yet clear.

Under the new bill, the Lottery Commission will be the body in charge of regulating the new industry – and along with that, they will also be in charge of regulating all forms of sports betting, including wagers that are taken both on, and offline.

The bill proposes that a new body – called the Division of Sports Wagering – would be created inside the Lottery Commission – though what is interesting to note, is that one of the options within the bill, gives the Lottery Commission the power to take wagers thesmlvses. Failing this, the Commission will likely have the power to issue licenses, much like is the case with online gambling.

The bill was received well by representatives of the house, and it’s expected to gain approval from the legislature by July 1st.

Betting in New Hampshire has always been problematic, as no physical casinos exist within the state. Because of this, sports betting operators have had to think creatively when it comes to taking bets. The high street approach is the route they’ve opted to take so far, and while there aren’t yet any definitive terms of online betting, it does appear as though if online betting was to be legalized, bettors would be unable to place wagers on college sporting events – as well as events that feature local teams.

The major question that remains, is whether or not the Lottery Commission will choose to open the betting stores themselves, or allow complete 3rd parties to do so.

If it does choose to open them themselves, they will need to find a way of appointing vendors to manage them – and there are also questions surrounding the costs of doing so – all things that the Commission will need to consider moving forward.

While nothing has yet been set in stone, the bill has proposed that 10% of all fees collected by the state would go towards helping problem gamblers, and promoting responsible gambling – a move that will please critics – and again, while nothing has yet been confirmed, it’s estimated that the aim would be to open the state’s first betting shop by the start of 2020; roughly a year from now.

While it looks fairly certain that the bill will indeed be introduced, it remains to be seen as to what the conditions of it will be – so it’s likely we’ll be revisiting this topic in July, once the legislators have made their final decisions surrounding the bill.