NH Halts Legal Online Gambling in Tracks

nhMembers of New Hampshire’s Executive Session voted just before the weekend to put an end to the Granite State’s hopes of a legal and regulated online gambling industry. The members unanimously voted 22-0 that the bill, H 562 was “inexpedient to legislate”. This means that it will not be discussed in the current legislative session, but it could be brought back for discussions in the next session.

H 562 was first put on ice in August 2017, and it was believed that it was the end of the road for this online gambling bill. When it was announced that the bill would be brought back in late October as part of an executive session, it was seen as a positive step.  There were four possible scenarios that could have come out of the executive session: Ought to pass; Ought to pass as amended; Inexpedient to legislate and Re-refer to committee.

As stated, the members voted for the third option. It now rests on the performance of New Hampshire’s online lottery to see whether H 562 will be re-visited or not.

In July this year, New Hampshire became just the fifth state in the US to allow the sale of its lottery tickets online.  Last week, it was joined by Pennsylvania when this state expanded its gambling industry under new laws. It is believed that New Hampshirites will be able to purchase lottery tickets online from the beginning of next year.

It is not quite clear how New Hampshire would be able to support a viable online gambling industry, considering that there are just 1.3 million people living in the state. On the other hand, a state with less than a million people, Delaware has introduced legal and regulated online gambling.  Delaware has entered into interstate gambling compacts with larger states such as Nevada and New Jersey in order to increase its player pools and ensure greater options for its gambling public.  New Hampshire could take Delaware as an example and possibly model its own future industry on that of The First State’s.

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