The New Hampshire Lottery has entered a partnership with DraftKings to offer mobile wagering in the state and retail sportsbooks will be placed in Berlin, Claremont, Laconia, and Somersworth, with the state expected to start taking its first wagers before the calendar flips to 2020. Those wagers will be online only as the retail sportsbooks work to finalize their construction plans and set up operations.
Interestingly, the bill in New Hampshire may serve as a test case for other states around the country. In every other state, the age to legally wager on sports is 21. In New Hampshire, the age is 18, so that could provide quite an interesting dynamic for those college students and eligible high school seniors with a little bit of an itch to gamble.
The plan in New Hampshire is to have up to 10 retail sportsbook locations and up to five online sportsbooks, though it seems unlikely that other operators would be excited to get involved. The original bill was amended to include the possibility for others like FanDuel, BetAmerica, PointsBet, or William Hill to get involved.
Per the details of the agreement, DraftKings will pay 51% of gross gaming revenue on mobile to the lottery and 50% of gross gaming revenue from the brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. It seems rather unlikely that too many other operators will try to swoop in and get a piece of the pie with the way that everything is structured, so it really does appear that DraftKings will be the only option, at least for a while.
DraftKings will have to also work alongside Intralot, the company that was preferred by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission. Intralot will provide support for sports betting through lottery kiosks and gaming machines.
The partnership in New Hampshire is unlike any that we have seen since PASPA was overturned in May 2018. While it would be somewhat unfair to call DraftKings a monopoly because other online-only operators can set up operations, DraftKings has primary control over the mobile betting base and also the retail sportsbooks.
The bill in New Hampshire also prohibits betting on college sporting events that are located in the state. Other than that, the bill is rather relaxed, as New Hampshire residents or residents of nearby states like Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, and even New York and Connecticut, can sign up from anywhere in the state. Some states, like Iowa and Illinois (when it comes online in 2020), force gamblers to sign up in person before using the apps. New Hampshire does not have that provision.
New Hampshire just recently passed legislation allowing for daily fantasy sports in 2017. It seems like the returns on DraftKings and the studies supported the DFS operator as the primary betting operator. We’ll see if this is a trend in smaller states with lesser populations.
Revenues in Rhode Island have fallen short of projections, so there is some concern that New Hampshire will come up short as well, but the 18 and over provision and all of the colleges in the northeast should fuel revenues for the state.
It sure looks like 2020 will be an extremely busy year for sports betting, so keep it tuned right here at ATS and we’ll keep you up to date.