New Hampshire Approves 2020 Sports Betting

A sports betting contract with DraftKings has been approved this week by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, paving the way for a January 2020 launch. The contract will allow DraftKings to operate the state’s sportsbooks over six years, with the possibility of two two-year extensions.

Wilson football rests on NFL field.

DraftKings has been awarded a contract to run sports betting in New Hampshire, with their infrastructure set to roll out in time for the 2020 Super Bowl. ©Dave Adamson/Unsplash

The state has acted quickly to introduce wagering on sports after lawmakers passed legislation to legalize sports betting in July of this year. The law stipulates that the activities will be regulated by the state lottery through the Division of Sports Wagering.

Last week, New Hampshire’s Governor Chris Sununu’s advisory body, the Executive Council, voted to approve the contract. DraftKings’ successful bid was passed on the grounds that they will pay the lottery 51% of gaming revenue for mobile and 50% of gaming revenue from in-person bets.

In light of the approval, Governor Sununu put out a tweet commending his government for moving “fast to get this done, and the deal is a win for NH. We are partnering with a world-class company to provide a first-rate customer service experience. With today’s vote, everyone will now be able to bet on @TomBrady and the @Patriots in time for this year’s Super Bowl.”

In order to bet, players will need to be at least 18 years old and will be unable to bet on state college teams or college games played in New Hampshire. The new law allows for the establishment of up to 10 physical sportsbook locations, which are also set to open early in the new year, as well as mobile betting.

New Hampshire’s laws required that voters would need to approve whether or not they would want a sportsbook established in their towns. So far, residents in Berlin, Claremont, Laconia, Manchester, and Somersworth have all voted in favor of creating a physical sportsbook location in their towns.

The Appeal of DraftKings

Before selecting an operator, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission needed to grade a list of applicants based on how successfully they could roll out their sports betting infrastructure. In the end, DraftKings were found to score the highest in mobile and retail networks, as well as being deemed to offer the best financial package.

“Today’s affirmative vote begins a partnership with DraftKings that will offer our players an exciting opportunity to participate in sports betting with a trusted partner. The introduction of sports betting will broaden the appeal of the New Hampshire Lottery and engage new and existing customers, while generating millions of dollars in additional revenue to support education.”Charlie McIntyre, Executive Director, New Hampshire Lottery Commission

Hopes are high for the potential of the new industry, which makes New Hampshire the second state in New England to approve sports wagering after Rhode Island legalized it in 2020. However, Rhode Island has failed to amass as much revenue as was predicted before its introduction, leading some to question the potential of sports betting in New Hampshire.

But according to DraftKings’ co-founder Matt Kalish, the implementation of their platform is bound to be popular. “We look forward to collaborating further with the New Hampshire Lottery to bring the DraftKings experience to sports fans in the Granite State,” he said. “Our best-in-class mobile sportsbook and several retail locations throughout the state are sure to be a hit with all types of customers as legalized sports betting continues to expand across the country.”

DraftKings will not only run the mobile application but it will also operate the physical sportsbook network across the state. They will be supported by Kambi, a sports betting services provider that was ranked second to DraftKings in the overall mobile rankings.

This won’t be the first time that the companies work together. In July 2018, they both signed a deal to operate a sportsbook for New Jersey’s Resorts Atlantic City casino. Earlier this year, Kambi and DraftKings also agreed to collaborate on providing the infrastructure for eight more states in the country.

In other state gambling news, the New Hampshire Lottery also reviewed and extended its contract with Greek operator Intralot, which currently powers the state lottery. Intralot will be granted the right to offer limited types of sports wagers at its 1,300 existing lottery kiosks. The state will keep a 19.25 percent share of this revenue.

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