New Hampshire already has online lottery

October Surprise: New Hampshire Online Gambling Bill Is Back In Play

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New Hampshire joined the ranks of online gambling states after legalizing online lottery in July. Now, it might be going back for a second bite at the apple.

The New Hampshire legislature has decided to take another look at the online gambling bill that it put on ice back in August. The bill, H 562, is part of an executive session, which will take place on Oct. 25.

New Hampshire’s decision to revisit the legislation should be seen as a positive sign. The state has shown a willingness to expand into online gambling with its online lottery legislation. It would be uncommon for a bill to be brought back up in late October unless there are new developments.

What to expect on the NH online gambling bill

An executive session in New Hampshire is more or less a committee hearing. Following deliberations, lawmakers can take one of the following actions on the bill:

  • Ought to pass;
  • Ought to pass as amended;
  • Inexpedient to legislate;
  • Re-refer to committee.

The best outcome for online gambling and poker supporters is “ought to pass as amended.”

Can the online gambling bill move forward now?

H 562 is a placeholder bill with very few specifics; therefore, it will require a lot of retooling before it can remotely be considered a viable bill.

On the one hand, it would be a small miracle for New Hampshire to take a one-page shell bill and turn it into an online gambling law in the space of a year. On the other hand, while that timeline may seem aggressive, as I speculated in August, there might be a plan already in place to merge online gambling with the state lottery.

If New Hampshire’s vision is to implement the “Delaware model” and have its online lottery oversee online gambling — with in-state gaming establishments providing the branding — the time to strike may be now, right after the state legalized online lottery sales.

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Problems for NH online casino bill?

The bill’s chances may have taken a hit with the recent revelations that its primary sponsor, Rep. Eric Schleien, was accused of sexually assaulting a minor.

Schleien is one of the bill’s three Republican sponsors. The other two are Reps. Nick Zaricki and Robert Fisher.

- Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus for OPR is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.
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