New Hampshire is getting very close to legalizing sports betting in 2019. Since the Supreme Court decision on May 14, 2018 struck down the federal ban on sports betting (PASPA), states have been proposing legislation to legalize sports betting. And nine states other than Nevada have passed bills. New Hampshire is close to allowing its residents the right to legally bet on sports like football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, boxing, UFC and other sports. The legal age for gambling on racing, sports, and poker in New Hampshire is 21.
New Hampshire does not have casino gambling, but a Senate bill proposal would call for casino expansion with two locations permitting sports betting at the casinos and through an online sports pool operator.
Legislation Updates on Sports Betting in New Hampshire
In May 2019, New Hampshire moved one step closer to legal sports betting. House Bill 480 received the unanimous support of the Senate Ways and Means Committee (by a 5-0 vote), setting up a possible floor vote for later in May and the bill to become law later this session by the end of June.
HB 480 authorizes the New Hampshire Lottery Commission to oversee and regulate sports betting but not participate. The lottery commission could choose ten lottery retailers and an online operator to handle sports betting. Legal Online Sports Betting Updates
Federal laws permit residents to gamble legally over the Internet. The Federal Wire Act does not make it illegal for New Hampshire residents to participate in online sports betting at licensed offshore sportsbooks that are located outside of the United States. However, a new opinion from the US Department of Justice broadens its interpretation of the Wire Act to cover internet gambling. The implications on the industry remain unclear pending a set of enforcement guidelines from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC).
New Hampshire residents can bet on sports online with these out-of-state and offshore gambling operators, as licensed offshore sportsbooks are located outside the jurisdiction of the US federal laws. There is no legal punishment that has yet occurred to residents for betting illegally offshore or at sites not based in the U.S. However, choosing a reputable and well-financed sports book that is licensed and regulated through a respected governing jurisdiction is recommended. Sports book operators could elect to not pay winnings to residents of the state where the sportsbooks are not legal. Minimum age to bet online is 21.