March Sports Betting Handle Skyrockets In New Hampshire, Nearing Record While Putting 2020 Figures To Shame

Written By Derek Helling on April 30, 2021

Here at PlayNHOnline, we told you that a dip in New Hampshire sports betting activity in February 2021 was nothing to worry about.

We were right.

For 2021, March sports betting handle was not only a massive improvement on the previous year, but it also nearly equaled the state record.

Bettors in New Hampshire wagered over $55.8 million last month, and DraftKings Sportsbook held nearly $4.3 million. The comparisons have nothing but superlatives for that performance. Dare we say, March was mad?

Good news, better news about March 2021 sports betting

The $55.8 million in wagers fell just short of the state’s monthly record for handle, set in January 2021. All bets came to just shy of $59.8 million that month.

However, March has reason to hold its head high. Retail sports betting set a new record for a month’s time. The state’s brick-and-mortar DraftKings books took in more than $11.3 million in bets. January’s total there was just $10.4 million.

Online sports betting didn’t slouch, either. Mobile wagers accounted for the other $44.5 million, just south of January’s record $49.4 million. Comparing last month to February gives an even more favorable impression.

March represented a month-over-month uptick of over 8% in handle and an eye-popping increase of about 39% in revenue.

NH betting spikes from March 2020

If that isn’t enough to get your attention, then perhaps you’d like to see the year-over-year comparison?

Before the unveiling of those figures, it’s important to remember what happened in March 2020. Most major sporting events were canceled or suspended. This year, that wasn’t the case. March 2021 offered not only the NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball tournament but also NBA and NHL action as well.

With that in mind, this year’s March handle was up over 400% from the same month in 2020, and revenue skyrocketed nearly 1,000% year over year. In March 2020, handle was a mere $8.8 million, while revenue came to $394,229.

While this is all very impressive, could there be even better times ahead for the state’s gambling market? It’s possible, but it likely won’t happen anytime soon.

A lull followed by what could be an amazing fall

While events like the NBA and NHL playoffs along with golf and tennis majors keep the calendar full for sports bettors over the next few months, few things have the same draw as football in the United States. So, the New Hampshire Lottery will probably see these numbers dip again over the summer.

However, that could be followed with more opportunities to wager in NH than ever before.

The state is currently considering legislation that would allow bettors at retail sportsbooks in the state to place in-game bets. Currently, the only option for live betting is through the DraftKings mobile betting app.

With all three of New Hampshire’s bordering states still unlikely to offer legal sports betting in time for the start of the 2021-22 NFL season, March’s numbers may look paltry in comparison to what this fall could bring.

For now, though, it was a respectable performance.

Photo by AP / Darron Cummings
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

View all posts by Derek Helling