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New Hampshire joins states considering sports betting legislation

A new bill has been introduced in New Hampshire to authorise the state lottery commission to operate a sportsbook.

The commission would be required to select an agent to operate sports betting on a revenue-share basis through a competitive bid process, with 10 per cent of the commission’s share, less administrative costs, payable to the state to fund treatment and prevention services for problem gamblers.

The bill would further authorise the commission to directly operate a sportsbook, or to retain vendors to support the commission in operating a sportsbook. The sportsbooks would be allowed to operate anywhere within the state, subject to local voter approval, including co-locating with other commercial businesses or general commercial retail locations.

Any refusal by a town or city to host a sportsbook will not be construed as prohibiting internet or mobile sports betting in that municipality.

Sports betting would be available to players over the age of 18 who are physically located in New Hampshire, with the commission required to implement a self-exclusion programme to allow players to opt out of sports betting. The commission must also offer players the option to set daily, weekly and monthly wagering limits, consistent with the best practices in addressing problem gambling.

Each type of sports bet would require prior authorisation by the commission, which has the right to reject betting on any sporting event if necessary to ensure the integrity of the sportsbook.

The lottery commission estimates that sports betting would generate between $1.5m and $7.5m for the state’s education trust fund in FY2021, rising to between $2.75m and $13.5m in FY2023.

HB 480 would take effect on January 1st, 2020 and is currently pending review before the House Ways and Means Committee.

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