What types of gambling are legal in New Hampshire?
Most forms of gambling are legal in New Hampshire. It all started with horseracing in 1933. A state lottery, card clubs, charitable gambling, daily fantasy sports, and sports betting.
The card clubs offer low-stakes gambling. The maximum bet is $10 at table games. Live poker has a $150 buy-in limit. All betting devices are table games or poker tables. Those looking for slots and video poker must visit Maine or Massachusetts for it.
- Horseracing (live, off-track and mobile)
- Lottery (scratch-offs, keno and lotto sales at retailers and online)
- Bingo and raffles (only at registered charities)
- Poker (card clubs and charities)
- Daily fantasy sports (online only)
- Sports betting (online only)
Online Gambling in New Hampshire
Legal online gambling is available for most of these niches. Lottery tickets may be purchased online. The same can be said of daily fantasy sports and sports betting. Bets may also be made on horseraces.
The New Hampshire Lottery offers online instant games that play like slot machines. These start at $0.02 per game and go as high as $10. Mega Millions and Powerball players may also buy tickets on the New Hampshire Lottery’s website.
Daily fantasy sports contests are permitted in New Hampshire. Any site that registers with the state may accept players from it. DraftKings, FanDuel, Fantasy Draft, and Yahoo operate in New Hampshire.
Off-track betting on horseraces is legal on licensed apps. These include TVG, TwinSpires, and BetAmerica.
Mobile and online sports betting is permitted in New Hampshire. DraftKings holds a monopoly in the state. It works with the state lottery to offer the product.
Online Gambling Laws in New Hampshire
New Hampshire passed an online lottery law in 2017. Online instant games, which play like slots, as well as lotto tickets, are permitted for purchase on the internet. This was created through an amendment that redefined what a lottery was in Section 284:21h of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes.
This legislation put New Hampshire in the position to challenge a federal attempt to ban online lottery sales through the Wire Act, which was created to block interstate sports betting decades before the internet was invented. New Hampshire has been successful in court blocking the federal opinion change of this law.
Online horse and greyhound racing were legalized after the federal Horseracing Act passed Congress. Sites are licensed through the New Hampshire Racing and Charitable Gaming Commission.
Daily fantasy sports were legalized in 2017. This was done through bill HB580. There are no licensing fees or taxes paid by fantasy sports companies. Operators must keep funds in a separate account from those used for operations.
Sports betting is the newest form of legalized online gambling in New Hampshire. It was legalized through HB480. All forms of bets are permitted. Wagers may only be on professional events and college ones outside the state of New Hampshire. Bets on New Hampshire colleges are prohibited regardless of where the event is played.
The New Hampshire Lottery regulated sports betting. It is operated through a monopoly held by DraftKings. The state taxes sports betting revenues at a rate of 51 percent.
All online gambling in New Hampshire, except off-track betting, has a minimum age of 18. Racing patrons must be at least 21 years old.
Land-based Casinos in New Hampshire
Low-stakes casinos are legal in New Hampshire with many restrictions. Profits must go to registered charities. The maximum bet is $10. Only table games and live poker are permitted. The types of tables include blackjack, roulette, craps, Three Card Poker, and regional favorites like New Hampshire Hold’em, and Boston 7, which are spread.
The poker room permits 1/2 and 2/4 cash games. There are no caps on poker cash game bets. The maximum buy-in for a cash game or tournament is $150.
Slots and video poker are not legal at New Hampshire casinos. Players looking for those games will need to visit Maine or Massachusetts.
New Hampshire Casinos
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Casino Laws in New Hampshire
Charitable casinos were created in 1977 by the state legislature. These operations were exempted from state gambling laws.
Commercial casinos are illegal in New Hampshire. The same goes for slots and video poker. Table games like blackjack, roulette, craps, Three Card Poker, and live poker are legal. The maximum bet is $10 at table games. Poker has no bet limit. The buy-in limit for a cash game or tournament is $150. However, poker tournaments may have a bigger buy-in. New Hampshire casinos must donate profits to state charities.
Charitable games of chance are legal under New Hampshire Revised Statute 287-D:4. The table game bet limit was raised to $10 in 2018. It started at $1, moving to $2 in 1998 and $4 in 2008. Poker followed the table game bet limit until 2015 when that was dropped. It was replaced by a $150 buy-in cap.
Cruise ships are permitted in New Hampshire. It must register with the state and leave its waters after 48 hours. Slots, video poker, keno, table games, and live poker are all permitted on these ships.
Charity casino and cruise ship patrons must be at least 21 years of age. Casinos pay a 10 percent tax to the state and must donate at least 35 percent of the revenues generated to a licensed charity. The games are regulated by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission.
Sports Betting in New Hampshire
Mobile and online sports betting is legal in New Hampshire. It is operated by DraftKings through a partnership with the New Hampshire Lottery. All forms of wagers are legal in New Hampshire. However, there is a ban on bets made on in-state colleges and any college events held in the state.
The NH Lottery is also proceeding with plans to offer sports betting under the Sports 603 brand at lottery retailers, but details on the upcoming offering remain limited at this time.
Sports Betting Laws in New Hampshire
The only form of legalized sports betting in New Hampshire involves a partnership between DraftKings and the state lottery. All other forms of bookmaking are considered illegal gambling for both the bettor and the bookie.
Sports betting in New Hampshire was created through HB480. Governor Chris Sununu signed it into law on July 12, 2019. Bettors must be at least 18 years of age. Wagers must be made within state lines. Wagers on all professional sports and colleges outside New Hampshire not involving in-state teams are legal.
DraftKings holds a monopoly for sports betting through a partnership with the New Hampshire Lottery. It pays a 51 percent tax rate on its gross win. DraftKings is also registered as a daily fantasy sports company in the state.
Poker in New Hampshire
Poker is legal in New Hampshire when the games are spread at a licensed poker room with proceeds going to charity. There is no bet limit in cash games. There is a $150 buy-in limit per cash game hand or tournament entry. Poker rooms cap the number of re-buys in a day based on house rules.
New Hampshire Poker Room List
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Poker Laws in New Hampshire
Poker was created in New Hampshire at the same time as charitable casinos in 1977. The bet limit started at $1. In 1998, it went to $2. Ten years later, it doubled to $4. This mirrored the bet limit at table games. In 2015, the poker bet limit was dropped and changed to a buy-in of $150. Players may buy in to a cash game or tournament more than once, depending on house rules. Poker players must be at least 21 years old.
The New Hampshire Lottery takes 10 percent of gross gaming revenues. At least 35 percent must go to charities. Any form of poker may be played in New Hampshire if the rules are on file with gaming regulators. Stud, Draw, Omaha and Texas Hold’em are among the approved games. The full list of games and rules is on the Licensing and Enforcement Division’s website.
Home Poker Games
In 2017, New Hampshire legalized home poker games when HB 164 was signed into law. The house may not take a rake or fee for hosting the game. There may be no house advantage. No more than 10 players can participate. The game cannot be publicly advertised.
Fantasy Sports in New Hampshire
Fantasy sports contests are legal in New Hampshire. All major operators, including DraftKings, FanDuel, Fantasy Draft and Yahoo, accept players from the state. There are no contest limitations.
Fantasy Sports Laws in New Hampshire
Daily fantasy sports contests were legalized through HB580 in 2017. The games were exempted from the state’s gambling laws. One version of the bill carried a licensing fee and tax. However, that was dropped. Sites must simply register with the state and keep deposited funds separate from operating accounts. Daily fantasy sports players must be at least 18 years of age.
New Hampshire Lottery
The New Hampshire Lottery was the first in the nation. The first tickets were sold on March 14, 1964. The first drawings were held by the numbers on racing horses. It later evolved into a traditional lottery with instant games and lotto drawings. Keno and online games were added in recent years. Instant and keno games are sold on tickets ranging in value from $1 to $25.
iLottery games, played online and like slot machines, have a price per game from a penny to $10. There are also digital instant games at lottery retailers on Fast Play kiosks.
Lotto ticket prices vary by game. The New Hampshire Lottery offers two intrastate and five interstate drawings.
Interstate New Hampshire Lotto Games
- Gimme 5
- Lucky for Life
- Mega Millions
Intrastate New Hampshire Lotto Games
- Pick 3
- Pick 4
New Hampshire Lottery Laws
The New Hampshire Lottery was the first in the nation. It was approved through multiple votes. State Representative Larry Pickett pushed for it for a decade before finally succeeding in 1963. A sweepstakes bill that would pave the way for a state lottery was signed into law by Governor John King was signed into law on April 30 of that year.
Unlike modern lotteries that are voted on statewide, New Hampshire’s law allowed for local jurisdictions to approve it or opt out of the legislation. A total of 198 of the 211 state municipalities approved the bill. The first tickets were sold two days later. Early drawings were done by horserace before evolving into a more traditional for of lottery drawings.
Some lottery games may be played online. This includes a library of instant games that mimic slots, as well as three, six and twelve-month subscriptions to interstate lotto drawings.
The state sets aside 26 percent of the gross gaming revenues. Retailers receive six percent, while 62 percent is returned on average as prizes. Lottery players must be at least 18 years of age.
New Hampshire Racing
There are no live horse or greyhound racing tracks in New Hampshire. The last thoroughbred race was held at Rockingham Park in 2002. Simulcast and harness racing continued off and on until 2016 when the track was sold and demolished. Greyhound parks lasted until 2009. The following year, live greyhound racing was banned in the state.
These days, the only racing action is off-track through mobile devices. TVG, TwinSpires and BetAmerica are among the companies that accept bets from New Hampshire residents.
New Hampshire Racing Laws
Live horseracing is legal in the state. However, no tracks exist. In 2010, greyhound racing was banned in the state. Like horses, there were no active tracks at the time.
New Hampshire requires there to be live racing at a track for it to have simulcast betting. As there are no active tracks, there are no off-track betting parlors in the state. To make up for this, the New Hampshire Racing and Charitable Gaming Commission permits mobile off-track betting through licensed vendors.
New Hampshire Skill-based Gaming Laws
New Hampshire’s gambling law defines an illegal wager as one risking something of value on a future event not under one’s control. This loose definition allows for skill-based gaming wagers. This can range from a duplicate card game to an athletic skills competition. Wagering on luck-based outcomes becomes an illegal act unless the event is through the state lottery or charitable gaming.
eSports are not addressed in New Hampshire law. It is not a part of the state’s sports betting industry. Wagers between participants would be legal based on the state’s gambling definition. Observers betting on the outcome would be illegal.
Traditional Games of Skill
Skill-based gaming sites like Worldwinner are legal in New Hampshire due to the state permitting bets on games where the player controls the outcome. WPT Online accepts players through sweepstakes laws.
Skill-based Gaming Machines
Skill-based gaming machines are legal at arcades. However, prizes may not be awarded in cash.
New Hampshire Charity Gambling Law
Charitable organizations may spread bingo games, raffles and other luck-based drawings such as Lucky 7. Agricultural fairs may also spread these games. Charities must be registered with the state and in operation for at least two years to be licensed. There is a fee of $25 per event by the charity and $250 by the venue. No individual prize may exceed $500. The cumulative of all prizes must be no more than $4,000 per session.
Players must be 18. However, children are permitted to join if a parent or guardian is present.