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NH Lottery Betting on Sports

Published Thursday Nov 14, 2019

Gov. Chris Sununu, center, signs the sports betting bill into law. Courtesy of the NH Lottery.

Celebrating an all-time sales record during FY 2019, generating more than $384 million in sales and returning more than $100 million for state education, the NH Lottery Commission has set its sights on sports betting.

A new law passed in July, creates a Division of Sports Wagering within the NH Lottery to oversee sports betting, and allows for mobile wagering. It does prohibit betting on NH college teams and any college games taking place in the Granite State. Players must be 18 or older.

“Sports betting is the right bet for New Hampshire,” says Gov. Chris Sununu, adding it is expected to generate “even more money into our educational system.” The state received 13 bids from vendors interested in hosting the betting platform.

There are three ways to place a bet: on a mobile device (users must be in NH and there will be location and age verification as is used now with NH iLottery) or at sports book locations and at select lottery vendors. In a process identical to allowing the sale of KENO 603, cities (as well as towns in the spring of 2020) will have the option to put the question to voters on Nov. 5 to permit the operation of sports-book retail locations within the municipality. If a city allows such operations, businesses will apply through the Lottery Commission but must also be approved by the city before the beginning operations.

A number of factors have contributed to the lottery’s success over the past year, including a $1.6-billion jackpot in October 2018, which caused Mega Millions sales to jump by 85%. Scratch tickets generated almost $250 million in sales, while KENO 603 sales increased from $8.3 million to $26.8 million this past fiscal year.

The relatively new online platform, iLottery, generated more than $6.4 million since its launch in September 2018. Currently, more than 47,000 players have signed up for iLottery, which offers players the opportunity to play Powerball, Mega Millions and 20 e-Instant games. Since its inception in 1964, the NH Lottery has contributed more than $2 billion to education.

Business NH Magazine is New Hampshire’s first statewide monthly business publication.